Background Spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is the most devastating subtype of stroke, but there is currently no evidence-based treatment strategy. Acupuncture is a well-known traditional Chinese therapy for stroke-induced disability, and GV20 is the commonly used acupuncture point.
Objective To evaluate the efficacy of GV20-based acupuncture in animal models of acute ICH.
Methods Studies of GV20-based acupuncture in animal models of acute ICH were identified from six databases up to July 2013. Study quality for each included article was evaluated according to the CAMARADES 10-item checklist. Outcome measures were neurological deficit scores and brain water content. All the data were analysed using RevMan V.5.1 software.
Results Nineteen studies were identified describing procedures involving 1628 animals. The quality score of the studies ranged from 3 to 6, with a mean of 4.6. The global estimate of the effect of GV20-based acupuncture was 0.19 (95% CI 0.13 to 0.25, p<0.001) SDs improvement in outcome compared with controls. In subgroup analyses, size of effect was higher where the outcome was measured as the neurological deficit score than the brain water content or both (p<0.001).
Conclusions These findings show the possible efficacy of GV20-based acupuncture in animal models of acute ICH, suggesting it as a candidate therapy for acute ICH.