Background: Network meta analysis (NMA) is a recent technique in the field of medicine. It allows several interventions to be compared together. Different medicines can be ranked according to different outcomes.
Objectives: To assess the clinical effects of the Chinese patent medicine Quyuji combined with western medicine for unstable angina (UA), in order to provide a reference for the choice of medicine.
Methods: In December 2015, we searched the following electronic databases: Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, Chinese Journal Full-Text Database, Wanfang Data, PubMed, Cochrane Library and Embase. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on UA treated by Quyuji combined with western medicine. Relevant information was extracted into a spreadsheet by two authors independently. Related items were used to assess the quality of RCTs; data were analyzed by WinBugs and Stata software.
Results: We found a total of 954 articles, and included 56 RCTs (with 5864 participants) - that investigated 10 types of Chinese patent medicine - for analysis. Seven (12.5%) of the RCTs described authentic randomization, none of the RCTs described the methods of allocation concealment or blinding. Three (5.36%) of the RCTs selectively reported outcomes. NMA showed that compared with NaoXinTong capsules, SheXiangBaoXin pills and NuoDiKang capsules can improve clinical symptoms; compared with YinDanXinNaoTong soft capsules, NuoDiKang capsules can improve clinical symptoms; compared with NaoXinTong capsule, SheXiangBaoXin pills and NuoDiKang capsules can improve ECG signals; compared with TongXinLuo capsule, FuFangDanShen drop pills, NaoXinTong capsules, YinDanXinNaoTong soft capsules and ShenSongYangXin capsules, YiXinShu capsules can improve ECG signals.
Conclusions: NMA showed that NuoDiKang capsules, YiXinShu capsules and SheXiangBaoXin pills had the better effects in clinical symptoms and ECG signals. However, the quality of methodology remains poor. Top-level design of clinical trials should be highlighted in further research, the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement should be adopted to improve the quality of RCTs.