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1.  Huangqi Injection (a Traditional Chinese Patent Medicine) for Chronic Heart Failure: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19604.
Background
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a global public health problem. Therefore, novel and effective drugs that show few side-effects are needed. Early literature studies indicated that Huangqi injection is one of the most commonly used traditional Chinese patent medicines for CHF in China. As a large number of clinical studies has been carried out and published, it is essential to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Huangqi injection. Therefore, we carried out this systematic review under the support of the framework of the Joint Sino-Italian Laboratory (JoSIL).
Objectives
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Huangqi injection for CHF according to the available scientific knowledge.
Methods
An extensive search including PubMed, EMBASE, CBM, the Cochrane Library and Chinese literature databases was performed up to July 2008. Clinical trials regarding Huangqi injection for the treatment of CHF were searched for, irrespective of languages. The quality of each trial was assessed according to the Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook 5.0, and RevMan 5.0 provided by the Cochrane Collaboration and STATA 9.2 were used for data analysis.
Results
After selection of 1,205 articles, 62 RCTs and quasi-RCTs conducted in China and published in Chinese journals were included in the review. The methodological quality of the trials was low. In most trials inclusion and exclusion criteria were not specified. Furthermore, only one study evaluated the outcomes for drug efficacy after an adequate period of time. For these reasons and because of the different baseline characteristics we did not conduct a meta-analysis.
Conclusions
Although available studies are not adequate to draw a conclusion on the efficacy and safety of Huangqi injection (a traditional Chinese patent medicine), we hope that our work could provide useful experience on further studies on Huangqi injections. The overall level of TCM clinical research needs to be improved so that the efficacy of TCM can be evaluated by the international community and possibly some TCM can enter into the international market.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019604
PMCID: PMC3089614  PMID: 21573109
2.  Clinical practice of traditional Chinese medicines for chronic heart failure 
Heart Asia  2010;2(1):24-27.
Background
Chinese medicines have been used for chronic heart failure (CHF) for thousands of years; however, the status of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) used for CHF has not been reported. This review was carried out in the framework of a joint Sino-Italian Laboratory.
Objective
To investigate the baseline of clinical practice of TCMs for CHF, and to provide valuable information for research and clinical practice.
Methods
The authors included articles about the use of TCMs for the treatment of CHF by searching the Chinese Journal Full-text Database (1994 to November 2007).
Results
In all, 1029 papers were included, with 239 herbs retrieved from these. The most commonly used herbs included Huangqi (Radix Astragali), Fuling (Poria), Danshen (Radix Salviae Miltiorrhiae), Fuzi (Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata) and Tinglizi (Semen Lepidii). Modern Chinese patent medicines (produced by pharmaceutical companies) and traditional prescriptions (comprising several herbs) are the application forms of these drugs. Shenmai, Shengmai and Astragalus injections were the most commonly used Chinese patent medicines. Some classic prescriptions (including Zhenwu decoction, Shengmai powder and Lingguizhugan decoction) were also frequently used. The effectiveness and safety of the TCMs were both satisfactory, and the traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine therapy could significantly improve the clinical effectiveness and reduce some of the adverse reactions from western medicines used alone.
Conclusion
The authors have acquired overall information about the clinical application of TCMs for CHF. Modern pharmacology has provided limited evidence for the rationality of this clinical use. Further research is needed to provide more evidence.
doi:10.1136/ha.2009.001123
PMCID: PMC4898503  PMID: 27325938
Chronic heart failure; traditional Chinese medicine; clinical practice

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