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Effects of moxibustion on reproduction and metabolism of polycystic ovary syndrome: a protocol for meta-analysis and systematic review
  1. Kou Xu1,
  2. Jiajie Wang2,
  3. Feng Hu2,
  4. Siying Lv1,
  5. Yanji Zhang1,
  6. Qiqi Yang1,
  7. Wei Huang2,
  8. Zhongyu Zhou2,3
  1. 1College of Acupuncture and Orthopedics, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, China
  2. 2Department of Acupuncture, Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, China
  3. 3Project Team of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Treatment of Dominant Diseases, Evidence-based Medicine Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, Wuhan, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Zhongyu Zhou; 2209447940{at}


Introduction Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age. Recently, moxibustion, as a complementary and alternative therapy, has been commonly used in assisted reproduction and improvement of metabolic abnormalities in patients with PCOS. Currently, intervention efficacy of the use of moxibustion in PCOS treatment still remains controversial due to lack of high-quality evidence. Consequently, this study protocol was designed to objectively review and evaluate the effectiveness and safety of moxibustion treatment for PCOS.

Methods and analysis Electronic searches will be carried out from inception to May 2021 in the online databases of The Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, Chinese Biomedical Literature, Chongqing VIP Chinese Science and Technology Periodical Database (VIP) and China National Knowledge Infrastructure. The Chinese Clinical Trial Registry Center and Clinical Trials will be used for searching ongoing trials. Randomised controlled trials and the first period in randomised cross-over trials involving any type of moxibustion for patients with PCOS will be included. Primary outcomes will be the ovulation rate, pregnancy rate and sex hormone levels, and secondary outcomes will be changes in clinical symptoms and metabolic indicators, total effective rate and the incidences of side effects and adverse events. Briefly, two reviewers will independently conduct study selection and data extraction, and the risk of bias will be assessed. Prior to the formal meta-analysis, the heterogeneity of included studies will be assessed. Review Manager Statistical Software (RevMan) V.5.3 will be used for data processing. Finally, the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation method will be applied to evaluate the quality of evidence.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not necessary since this study is designed as a systematic review. This study will be disseminated by a peer-review journal or conference presentation.

  • complementary medicine
  • general endocrinology
  • subfertility
  • reproductive medicine

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  • Contributors KX, JW and FH contributed equally to this work. All authors have read and approved the publication of the protocol. Conceptualisation: KX, ZZ and WH. Data curation: QY, SL and YZ. Formal analysis: WH, KX and QY. Investigation: KX and JW. Methodology: WH, FH, KX and YZ. Software: JW, QY and SL. Supervision: FH, WH and ZZ. Writing-original draft: KX, QY, SL and JW. Writing-review and editing: JW, ZZ, WH and FH.

  • Funding This work was supported by: 2020 National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine 'Special Project for the Inheritance of Ancient Chinese Medicine Documents and Characteristic Technologies', grant number: Guozhong Medical Science and Technology Letter (2020) No. 295; Hubei Provincial Health Commission 2021–2022 Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Project, grant number: E Weitong (2020) No. 38; The 2nd Hubei Province’s Outstanding Medical Academic Leader Program, grant number: No. (2019)47; National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine: 2019 Project of building evidence based practice capacity for TCM, grant number: No.2019XZZX-ZJ006; Qihuang Engineering Project of National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, grant number: No. 284 (2018); 2020 Project in the Co-innovation Center for Preventive Treatment of Disease of Acupuncture-moxibustion in Hubei Province, grant number: HBPCIC-2020-05, HBPCIC-2020-11; Hubei hospital of traditional Chinese medicine, the first Tanhualin famous doctor, student training project, grant number: (2018) no. 72; The Project of Hubei Famous Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine Studio, grant number: No. 15 (2018); 2015 Special Project in TCM Industry of State of Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of the People's Republic of China, grant number: 201507003; National Natural Science Foundation of China, grant number: 81674081; Wuhan young and middle-aged medical backbone talents (sixth batch), grant number: no. 116, family planning tong (2018).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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