Preventive and therapeutic effectiveness of Sanfu acupoint herbal patching for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at stable stages: a systematic review and Meta-analysis

J Tradit Chin Med. 2020 Aug;40(4):530-549. doi: 10.19852/j.cnki.jtcm.2020.04.003.


Objective: To evaluate the preventive and therapeutic effects of Sanfu acupoint herbal patching (SAHP) in adjuvant treatment in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: We had searched eight electronic databases and six major trial registries from their inception to July 2017 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We utilized RevMan 5.3 to evaluate the methodological quality and to perform data analyses.

Results: A total of 28 RCTs involving 1615 records were included in the descriptive analysis, and 25 RCTs were performed for Meta-analysis. Lung function such as forced vital capacity rate of one second FEV1/predicted%, forced vital capacity (FVC) % found no significant difference. The results of Meta-analysis showed that SAHP plus conventional therapy (CT) in the treatment of stable COPD were better than CT, in second sessions' data of FEV1, in third sessions' data of FEV1/FVC, in three sessions' data of SGRQ, in third session's data of Modified Medical Research Council and 6MWT. The symptoms of SAHP's adverse reactions seem to be mild and the incidence of that seems to be low. Descriptive analysis shows that SAHP with CT seems to improve clinical effective rate and had a certain preventive effect on acute exacerbation of COPD, which the curative effect may be better with the increase of treatment course.

Conclusion: SAHP with CT appears to be more effective than CT or CT plus placebo only on improving the quality of life, but the effect on lung function is not obvious. Improve clinical effective rate and preventive effect is uncertainty. SAHP with CT may be used in any Grade to safely treat patients with stable COPD. The more exactly clinical effect still needs to be proved by more high-quality, large sampling, multilingual RCTs.

Keywords: Acupoint sticking therapy; Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Randomized controlled trial; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal