Objective: This study was aimed at comparing the clinical efficacy of acupuncture and moxibustion on irritable bowel syndrome complicated with diarrhoea in adults and providing guidance for clinical treatment.
Methods: PubMed, The Cochrane Library, Embase, CBM, CNKI, and VIP and Wanfang databases were searched to obtain clinical randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on acupuncture and moxibustion in the treatment of IBS published from establishment of the database to August 5, 2021. Relevant data were extracted to assess the risk of bias in the included studies, and statistical software Stata 16.0 was used for meta-analysis.
Results: Twenty-one studies were eventually included in the network meta-analysis (NMA), including 1626 patients with IBS-D and 8 therapeutic measures. NMA showed that acupuncture [OR = 0.35, 95%CI (0.25, 0.49), P < 0.05], warming needle moxibustion [OR = 6.34, 95%CI (2.83, 14.21), P < 0.05], acupuncture+sandwiched moxibustion [OR = 12.83, 95%CI (4.49, 36.64), P < 0.05], acupuncture+heat-sensitive moxibustion [OR = 9.86, 95%CI (1.77, 55.00), P < 0.05] were more effective than pinaverium bromide in the treatment of IBS.
Cumulative ranking probability (SUCRA) showed that the comprehensive efficacy of acupuncture and moxibustion (86.8%) and quality of life (70.4%) was the best, while the comprehensive efficacy of pinaverium bromide (2.1%) and QOL (16.3%) was the worst. GV20, GV29, ST 25, ST37, ST36, SP6, LR3, and CV12 were used frequently.
Conclusion: Acupuncture+sandwiched moxibustion has the best effect on improving the efficacy and quality of life of IBS patients.