Electroacupuncture is one of several effective treatments for migraine pain symptoms.

Electroacupuncture is one of several effective treatments for migraine pain symptoms.


Am J Chin Med. 2019 ;47(8):1755-1780. Epub 2019 Dec 4. PMID: 31801357

Abstract Title: 

Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Electroacupuncture in Migraine Treatment: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis.


Considering the heavy burden of migraine, it is essential to update insufficient and/or outdated clinical evidence supporting electroacupuncture (EA) in migraine therapy. In this study, a literature search of seven medical databases was performed. After data extraction and quality evaluation, 13 randomized controlled trials, including 1559 patients, were assessed in this analysis. Results demonstrated that EA was superior to control treatment (Western medicine, sham-EA, blank control, acupuncture, and acupoint catgut embedding) according to the visual analog scale (VAS) score, frequency of headache attack (Western medicine, sham-EA, blank control), self-rating anxiety scale (SAS [blank control]), self-rating depression score (SDS [Western medicine and blank control]), and clinical efficiency (Western medicine and sham-EA) after treatment (). Results of network meta-analysis (for VAS, SAS, and SDS) demonstrated statistically significant differences in VAS scores for EA compared with sham-EA, acupuncture with sham-EA, acupoint catgut embedding with sham-EA, and acupoint catgut embedding with blank control. Rank probability analysis of VAS, SAS, and SDS scores all demonstrated that EA ranked first. Most studies were symmetrically distributed on both sides of the midline in funnel plots for VAS, SAS, and SDS, which indicated a low likelihood of small sample effects. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the stability of the studies included in this research. EA is one of several effective treatments for migraine pain symptoms, and, to some extent, anxiety and depression. Nevertheless, multi-center studies with large sample sizes and/or well-designed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) will be needed in the future.

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