Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture and electroacupuncture for functional dyspepsia: A systematic review

Yu Guo, Wei Wei, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a common digestive disease with limited therapeutic options. According to evidence-based clinical practice, acupuncture or electroacupuncture (EA) seems to be a promising therapy for patients with FD. However, there is still a lack of systematic reviews that have analyzed current clinical trials for a better understanding of mechanisms involved in the ameliorating effect of acupuncture and EA on FD. AIM To evaluate the results and qualities of existing clinical evidence for researching the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture/EA in treating FD. METHODS A systematic search of the literature was performed to identify randomized controlled trials in which research on the mechanism of acupuncture or EA was conducted in FD patients. Databases searched included PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science. Data extraction and quality assessment were completed by two investigators independently and the results of quality evaluation were exported through Review Manager V5.3. RESULTS Eight studies were included in this review with a total of 17 items for detecting techniques for mechanistic research. Positive effects of acupuncture and EA were observed in regulating gastric motility, gastric accommodation, mental status, gastrointestinal hormones, and central and autonomic functions while improving dyspeptic symptoms and quality of life. CONCLUSION The key findings of this systematic review support the potential of acupuncture and EA in altering the heterogeneous pathophysiology in patients with FD. However, high-quality studies with well-planned designs are ecessary o provide more credible evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2440-2457
Number of pages18
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 21 2020


  • Acupuncture
  • Electroacupuncture
  • Functional dyspepsia
  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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