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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 9451670, 14 pages
Review Article

Update on the Clinical Effect of Acupuncture Therapy in Patients with Gouty Arthritis: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Department of Orthopedics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China

Received 17 May 2016; Revised 1 August 2016; Accepted 24 August 2016

Academic Editor: Deborah A. Kennedy

Copyright © 2016 Wei-wei Lu 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.


Objective. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy in the treatment of acute gouty arthritis. Methods. A literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, CENTRAL, and CNKI was conducted from the inception date of each database up to October 2015. Two investigators screened each article independently and were blinded to the findings of the other reviewer. Data was extracted according to the predetermined collection form. Meta-analysis was performed. Results. We analyzed data from 28 RCTs involving 2237 patients with gouty arthritis. Compared with conventional pharmacological treatments acupuncture was more effective in rendering patients free from symptoms after 24 hours, lowering serum urate, alleviating pain associated with gouty arthritis, and decreasing the ESR; regarding CRP, no statistically significant difference was found. In addition, the frequency of adverse events in acupuncture treatment was lower than that in control group. Conclusion. Based on the findings of our study, we cautiously suggest that acupuncture is an effective and safe therapy for patients with gouty arthritis. However, the potential beneficial effect of acupuncture might be overstated due to the methodological deficiency of included studies. High quality RCTs with larger scale are encouraged.