Meta-analysis of Acupuncture Safety in Post-stroke Dysphagia Treatment

Ching Sum Chau*, Ka Kit Chua, Alexander Yuk Lun Lau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Post-stroke dysphagia may develop unfavorable outcomes. Acupuncture have been incorporated as one of the promising options to treat
post-stroke dysphagia, however, there is no evidence to support the safety of it.

Objective: To identify and quantify the adverse effects associated with using acupuncture for treating post-stroke dysphagia.

Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of ControlledTrials, AMED, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment, ACP Journal Club, PsycINFO, WanFang Data and CJN, wereinvestigated. RCTs comparing acupuncture, non-acupuncture, and their combination were identified. Eligible studies with data about safety of acupuncture
were extracted. Meta-analyses were performed for the outcomes of local effects (pain, petechia, mild bleeding, haematoma, dizziness) and systemic effects
(infection, fainting, large scale bleeding, unbearable severe pain, aspiration pneumonia and death) by using clinical trials with Jadad score ≥ 3 and RevMan

Results: Two studies were included. The most common adverse effects were local effects (pain, petechia, mild bleeding and haematoma). The meta-analyses of pain---risk difference (RD) = 42% (p< 0.001); petechia---RD = 11% (p = 0.004); mild bleeding---RD = 8% (p< 0.001); haematoma---RD = 5%
(p = 0.005). No reports of severe systemic effects or deaths in the studies included.

Conclusions: Acupuncture for post-stroke dysphagia was safe. The main adverse effects related to acupuncture were with no severity, pain, petechia, mildbleeding and haematoma. It can conclude that acupuncture is a relatively safe strategy for rehabilitation in post-stroke dysphagia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1016
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

User-Defined Keywords

  • Dysphagia
  • Stroke
  • Acupuncture
  • Safety
  • Adverse effects


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