Electroacupuncture for Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Ai Ju Liu, Ji Huang Li, Hui Qin Li, Deng Lei Fu, Lin Lu, Zhaoxiang BIAN*, Guo Qing Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Electroacupuncture (EA) is an extension technique of acupuncture based on traditional acupuncture combined with modern electrotherapy. Here, we conducted a systematic review specifically to assess the effectiveness and safety of EA for acute ischemic stroke. Eight databases were searched for randomized-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of EA for acute ischemic stroke published from inception to June 2013. Ultimately, 67 studies claimed to be RCTs. Eighteen studies with 1411 individuals were selected for the analyses, which got ≥4 "yes" in the domains of Cochrane risk of bias tool. The meta-analysis showed a significant effect of EA for improving Barthel Index (p<0.00001), Fugl-Meyer Assessment (p<0.00001), National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (p<0.00001) and Revised Scandinavian Stroke Scale (p<0.00001) compared with western conventional treatments (WCTs). In an analysis of the total clinical efficacy rate, there was a significant difference between EA and WCTs (p=0.0002). Adverse effects were monitored in 6 studies, and were well tolerated in all stroke patients. According to the GRADE approach, the quality of evidence was mostly high or moderate. In conclusion, this systematic review revealed the evidence in support of the use of EA for acute ischemic stroke, although further larger sample-size and rigorously designed RCTs are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1541-1566
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acute Ischemic Stroke
  • Electroacupuncture
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic Review


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