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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 7501015, 10 pages
Research Article

Identifying Chinese Herbal Medicine Network for Endometriosis: Implications from a Population-Based Database in Taiwan

1Division of Chinese Internal Medicine, Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
2School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
4School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
5Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Correspondence should be addressed to Hsing-Yu Chen; moc.liamg@6105078b

Received 18 January 2017; Revised 11 May 2017; Accepted 21 May 2017; Published 27 June 2017

Academic Editor: Chang G. Son

Copyright © 2017 Pei-Ju Tsai 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. Endometriosis is a common but bothersome gynecological disease, and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is used for treating endometriosis. The aim of this study is to explore CHM network and core treatments for endometriosis by analyzing nationwide CHM prescription database. Methods. From 1998 to 2013, the CHM prescriptions made primarily for endometriosis among women diagnosed with endometriosis (ICD-9-CM code: 671) by gynecologists during their reproductive age were collected. CHM network analysis was then carried out by using association rule mining and social network analysis. Results. A total of 12,986 CHM prescriptions made for endometriosis were analyzed. There were 556 kinds of CHM ever used, and, in average, each prescription was composed of 6.2 CHMs. Gui-Zhi-Fu-Ling-Wan (GZFLW) was used most frequently, followed by Cyperus rotundus (28.1% and 18.8% of all prescriptions, resp.). Additionally, the combination of Cyperus rotundus with GZFLW (8.0%) was the most frequently used combination of two CHMs. CHM network showed that GZFLW was the core CHM for endometriosis and graphically demonstrated the extensive coverage of TCM syndromes and pathogenesis of endometriosis. Conclusions. CHM network provides graphical demonstration and summary of commonly used CHMs for endometriosis, and further studies are warranted based on these findings.