Background: Allergic rhinitis is a major chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract. A large number of epidemiological investigations have shown that the prevalence of allergic rhinitis (AR) is increasing, resulting in a large burden of disease. Desensitizing drugs such as nasal glucocorticoids and antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis, but this method has a long treatment period and is prone to repeated attacks, and there are certain adverse reactions. Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide variety of diseases including allergic rhinitis without the occurrence of drug damage. We aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.
Methods: Relevant databases include the English databases incorporating Web of science, PubMed, Springer, Medline, Cochrane Library, EBASE, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), as well as the Chinese databases like the China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database (CNKI), Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP), Wanfang Database, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database will be searched normatively according to the rule of each database from the inception to September 1, 2018. Reference list of identified studies, potential gray literatures, relevant conference abstracts, and clinical trial registrations will also be searched. The literature screening, data extraction, and quality assessment will be conducted by 2 researchers independently. Data will be synthesized by either the fixed-effects or random-effects model according to a heterogeneity test. Symptom score will be assessed as the primary outcome. Rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire (RQLQ), participants with asthma can use asthma control test (ACT), medicine usage and scoring, laboratory examination, and side effects or adverse events will be evaluated as the secondary outcome. Meta-analysis will be performed using RevMan5.3.5 software provided by the Cochrane Collaboration.
Results: This study will provide high-quality synthesis based on current evidence of acupuncture treatment for allergic rhinitis in several aspects, including symptom score, drug score, quality of life score, asthma control score, side effects and laboratory examination such as nasal function test, serum total immunoglobulin (IgE), nasal secretion smear, etc. CONCLUSION:: The results of this study will provide updated evidence for weather acupuncture is an effective and safe intervention for allergic rhinitis.
Ethics and dissemination: It is not necessary for this systematic review to acquire an ethical approval. This review will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal or conference presentation.
Prospero registration number: PROSPERO CRD42018109105.