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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3862916, 17 pages
Review Article

Acupuncture for Functional Dyspepsia: What Strength Does It Have? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
2Key Laboratory of Acupuncture of Tianjin, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China

Received 21 May 2016; Revised 8 October 2016; Accepted 23 October 2016

Academic Editor: Chang-Gue Son

Copyright © 2016 Bo Pang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Although the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy on functional dyspepsia (FD) has been systematically reviewed, the available reports are still contradictive and no robust evidence has been provided to date. Objective. To assess the current evidence of high quality on the effects of acupuncture for patients with FD. Methods. A comprehensive literature database search was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing acupuncture therapies (including manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture) to sham acupuncture and medication use. A meta-analysis was performed following a strict methodology. Results. 16 RCTs involving 1436 participants were included. The majority of the trials were determined to be of low quality. Positive results were found for acupuncture in improving the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI) and scores of the MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), as well as in alleviating relevant symptoms (especially postprandial fullness and early satiation) of FD patients. Conclusion. Based on current available evidence, acupuncture therapy achieves statistically significant effect for FD in comparison with sham acupuncture and is superior to medication (prokinetic agents) in improving the symptoms and quality of life of FD patients. Nonetheless, despite stringent methodological analyses, the conclusion of our review still needs to be strengthened by additional RCTs of higher quality.