Brief Article
Copyright ©2012 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 14, 2012; 18(14): 1689-1694
Published online Apr 14, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i14.1689
Treatment of cholecystitis with Chinese herbal medicines: A systematic review of the literature
Zhi-Yong Dong, Guan-Liang Wang, Xing Liu, Jia Liu, De-Zeng Zhu, Chang-Quan Ling
Zhi-Yong Dong, Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Pu Tian University, Putian 351100, Fujian Province, China
Guan-Liang Wang, De-Zeng Zhu, Chang-Quan Ling, Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital affiliated to the Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
Xing Liu, Center for the Study of Language and Cognition, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310028, Zhejiang Province, China
Jia Liu, Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200437, China
Author contributions: Dong ZY and Wang GL designed the search strategy, and performed the literature searches, and drafted the review; Dong ZY, Wang GL, Liu X, and Liu J collected material and analyzed the data; Liu X made substantial contributions to the conception and design, revised the article critically for important intellectual content, and the language of English; Zhu DZ, Ling CQ developed the methodology, and revised the final review; all authors approved the final version of the review.
Correspondence to: Dr. Chang-Quan Ling, Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital affiliated to the Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China.
Telephone: +86-21-81871551 Fax: +86-21-81871559
Received: May 23, 2011
Revised: October 16, 2011
Accepted: January 18, 2012
Published online: April 14, 2012

AIM: To analyze the literature on the use of Chinese herbal medicines for the treatment of cholecystitis.

METHODS: The literature on treatment of cholecystitis with traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) was analyzed based on the principles and methods described by evidence-based medicine (EBM). Eight databases including MEDLINE, EMbase, Cochrane Central (CCTR), four Chinese databases (China Biological Medicine Database, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure Database, Database of Chinese Science and Technology Periodicals, Database of Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology) and Chinese Clinical Registry Center, were searched. Full text articles or abstracts concerning TCM treatment of cholecystitis were selected, categorized according to study design, the strength of evidence, the first author’s hospital type, and analyzed statistically.

RESULTS: A search of the literature published from 1977 through 2009 yielded 1468 articles in Chinese and 9 in other languages; and 93.92% of the articles focused on clinical studies. No article was of level I evidence, and 9.26% were of level II evidence. The literature cited by Science Citation Index (SCI), MEDLINE and core Chinese medical journals accounted for 0.41%, 0.68% and 7.29%, respectively. Typically, the articles featured in case reports of illness, examined from the perspective of EBM, were weak in both quality and evidence level, which inconsistently conflicted with the fact that most of the papers were by authors from Level-3 hospitals, the highest possible level evaluated based on their comprehensive quality and academic authenticity in China.

CONCLUSION: The published literature on TCM treatment of cholecystitis is of low quality and based on low evidence, and cognitive medicine may functions as a useful supplementary framework for the evaluation.

Keywords: Cholecystitis, Traditional Chinese medicine, Literature analysis, Randomized controlled trials, Cognition-based medicine