Integrative treatment of herbal medicine with western medicine on coronary artery lesions in children with Kawasaki disease
BACKGROUND Kawasaki disease (KD) is a major cause of coronary artery lesions (CALs) in children. Approximately 10% to 20% of children treated with intravenous immunoglobulin are intravenous immunoglobulin-resistant. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of adding herbal medicine to conventional western medicines versus conventional western medicines alone for CALs in children with KD. METHODS This study searched 9 electronic databases until August 31, 2021. The inclusion criteria were the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed the CALs in children with KD and compared integrative treatment with conventional western treatments. Two authors searched independently for RCTs, including eligible articles that fulfilled the inclusion criteria, extracted data, and assessed the methodological quality using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analysis was conducted using Cochrane Collaboration's Review Manager 5.4 software. The effect size was presented as the risk ratio (RR), and the fixed-effect models were used to pool the results. RESULTS The finally selected 12 studies included a total of 1030 KD patients. According to a meta-analysis, the integrative treatment showed better results than the conventional treatment in the CAL prevalence rate (RR = 2.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.49-2.71; P < .00001), CAL recovery rate (RR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.05-1.54; P = .02), and total effective rate (RR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1.11-1.23; P < .00001). Only 2 studies referred to the safety of the treatment. The asymmetrical funnel plot of the CAL prevalence rate indicated the possibility of potential publication bias. CONCLUSIONS This review found the integrative treatment to be more effective in reducing the CAL prevalence rate and increasing the CAL recovery rate and total effective rate in KD patients than conventional western treatment. However, additional well-designed RCTs will be needed further to compensate restrictions of insufficient trials on safety, methodological quality, and publication bias.