Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of electroacupuncture on ulcerative colitis and explore the influence of electroacupuncture parameters and acupoint compatibility to optimise the clinical treatment plan.
Methods: After searching eight databases, data were extracted and analyzed to determine the quality and bias of the study’s methodological design, and randomized controlled trial (RCT) datas were meta-analyzed.
Results: Twelve studies that meet the criteria were included. The results of meta-analysis indicated that, compared with the control group, experimental group had better clinical efficacy [RR = 1.27, 95%CI = (1.19, 1.36), P < 0.01], Other indicators such as cure rate [RR = 1.73, 95%CI = (1.43, 2.09), P < 0.01], effective rate of mucosal lesions under enteroscopy [RR = 1.24, 95%CI = (1.11, 1.38), P < 0.01], serum inflammatory factor TNF-α [MD = -41.11, 95%CI = (-46.01, 36.22), P < 0.01] were significantly better than those in the control group. Sixteen acupoints on the Ren, Bladder, Stomach, Spleen, and Liver meridians were used 74 times. Guanyuan (RN 4) and Tianshu (ST 25) is the most compatible acupoints.
Conclusion: The clinical efficacy of electroacupuncture in treating ulcerative colitis is superior than the control group’s, and it has curative effects in terms of cure rate, efficacy of mucosal lesions under colonoscopy, serum inflammatory factors, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) syndrome scores. Combining acupoints of the Bladder, Stomach, and Ren meridians and using dense wave for 30 min each time for more than 6 weeks may be optimal for ulcerative colitis patients.