Objective: To compare the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine or Chinese herbal medicine plus indomethacin with that of indomethacin alone in treating polyhydramnios.
Methods: Literatures published up to April 2012 were retrieved from PubMed, Embase and Cochrane library, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Scientific and Technological Periodical Database (VIP), Wangfang, and Traditional Chinese Medicine online. Two researchers collected data independently.
The assessment of methodological quality was based on Cochrane handbook and the materials were analysed with software RevMan 5.1.2. The outcome measure index was relative risk or difference of mean value (95% confidence interval). The following outcomes were evaluated (1) general clinical improvement rate; (2) maximum vertical pocket depth; (3) amniotic fluid index value; (4) rate of fetal ductus arteriosus constriction; (5) incidence of adverse events.
Results: Based on the search strategy, 5 trails involving 1017 patients were finally included. Compared with indomethacin, Chinese herbal medicine decreased the rate of fetal ductus arteriosus constriction (P<0.01).
Chinese herbal medicine plus indomethacin was more effective than indomethacin in general clinical improvement and decrease of amniotic fluid index for polyhydramnios (P<0.01). No serious adverse events were reported in Chinese herbal medicine and Chinese herbal medicine plus indomethacin.
Conclusions: Compared with indomethacin alone, Chinese herbal medicine and Chinese herbal medicine plus indomethacin may appear to be more effective for polyhydramnios.