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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9461415, 9 pages
Review Article

The Characteristics of TCM Clinical Trials: A Systematic Review of

1Center for Drug Clinical Research, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
2Medical Science & Computing, LLC, Rockville, MD 20852, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Qingshan Zheng

Received 7 February 2017; Accepted 24 July 2017; Published 24 August 2017

Academic Editor: Bhushan Patwardhan

Copyright © 2017 Junchao Chen 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 review is to characterize current status of global TCM clinical trials registered in Methods. We examined all the trials registered within up to 25 September 2015, focusing on study interventions to identify TCM-related trials, and extracted 1,270 TCM trials from the data set. Results. Overall, 691 (54.4%) trials were acupuncture, and 454 (35.8%) trials were herbal medicines. Differences in TCM trial intervention types were also evident among the specific therapeutic areas. Among all trials, 55.7% that were small studies enrolled <100 subjects, and only 8.7% of completed studies had reported results of trials. As for the location, the United States was second to China in conducting the most TCM trials. Conclusion. This review is the first snapshot of the landscape of TCM clinical trials registered in, providing the basis for treatment and prevention of diseases within TCM and offering useful information that will guide future research on TCM.