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Research Article: Study Protocol Systematic Review

Effects and safety of Tanreqing injection on viral pneumonia

A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis

Qiu, Yuea; Pan, Xueb; Su, Lin MDc; Lui, Huia; Li, Ya-Dongd,∗

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000022022
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1 Introduction

Influenza is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system.[1] Rapidly progressing viral pneumonia is the pulmonary manifestation that is commonly observed in patients with influenza and are associated with considerable mortality,[2,3] representing a severe threat and imparting a substantial financial burden worldwide.[4]

The current treatment of viral pneumonia is to use antibiotics, mechanical ventilation, vasoactive drugs, nutritional support, etc.[5] There is no effective treatment for viral pneumonia. However, the above treatments cannot curb the progress of the body's inflammatory storm, which may be one of the reasons for the high mortality rate of patients with viral pneumonia.[6,7] In recent years, Chinese medical workers in China have used Tanreqing Injection with the function of promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis to treat viral pneumonia and have achieved good clinical results.[8,9] In the diagnosis and treatment of new type of coronavirus pneumonia in China, it has been recommended to use Tanreqing Injection for adjuvant treatment for patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome or / multiple organ failure.[10] Three systematic reviews of Tanreqing Injection in the treatment of viral pneumonia were published in 2012, 2014 and 2015, all confirming the effectiveness of Tanreqing Injection in the treatment of viral pneumonia,[11,12] but whether Reducing mortality in patients with viral pneumonia is controversial.

In the past five years, more studies on the effect of using Tanreqing Injection on viral pneumonia on patient mortality, length of hospital stay, and mechanical ventilation have been published.[13] Therefore, this study is based on the currently published related randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The systematic review and meta-analysis hope to provide further evidence-based evidence for clinical treatment.

2 Study aim

The aim of our study is to objective provide helpful evidence of whether Tanreqing Injection would reduce the mortality and incidence of viral pneumonia. A better understanding of Tanreqing Injection, guide the treatment of viral pneumonia.

3 Methods

The protocol of our MAs followed the guideline of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) recommendations.[14] It has been registered with International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) as CRD42020164164 (

3.1 Eligibility criteria

3.1.1 Types of studies

Only randomized clinical trials screened to forecast the efficacy and safety of Tanreqing Injection in the treatment of viral pneumonia, will be included to pool and review in this study.

3.1.2 Types of participants and interventions

Studies included adults aged 18 years old and older with the diagnosis of viral pneumonia in the general population. Intervention must be at least Tanreqing Injection treatment for more than 14 days.

3.1.3 Types of outcome

Outcomes will include mortality, cure rate, efficacy or adverse events confirmed by imaging diagnosis, or records such as risk ratio, odds ratio, hazard ratios, standardized incidence ratio, standardized mortality ratio and associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

3.2 Search strategy

Web of Science, PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library were searched for randomized clinical trials until 1st of July 2020. The MeSH search and text word will be used with the terms related to Tanreqing Injection and viral pneumonia. To perform a comprehensive and focused search, experienced systematic review researchers will be invited to develop a search strategy. The plan searched terms are as follows: Tanreqing Injection, viral pneumonia, pneumonia necrotizing, et al. An example of search strategy for PubMed database shown in Table 1 will be modified and used for the other databases. The reference lists of all relevant studies will be searched for additional relevant studies not retrieved from the electronic database search.

Table 1
Table 1:
Searching strategy in PubMed.

3.3 Study selection

All initial records from four electronic databases will be imported into the web-based systematic review Rayyan software.[15] First, the titles and abstracts of records will be reviewed independently by two reviewers to identify potential trials according to eligibility criteria. Then, full-text of all potentially relevant trials will be downloaded to make sure eligible trials. Any conflict will be resolved by discussion. A flow diagram (Fig. 1) will be used to describe the selection process of eligible papers.

Figure 1
Figure 1:
Flow diagram: selection process for the studies.

3.4 Data extraction and management

The data will be extracted out by two independent reviewers in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Two investigators will independently screen all the included studies to extract the following data: name of the first author, publication year, study design, country, intervention, control group, study period, sample size, numbers of outcomes, age at enrollment, sex, duration of follow-up, adjustments, and effect estimates.

3.5 Risk of bias of individual study and quality assessment

Two reviewers will evaluate independently the risk of bias of included studies using a modified version of Cochrane tool[16] in which we will to check for allocation concealment, blinding, incomplete outcome data, selective reporting, and other bias, each of which makes high risk, low-risk, and unclear grades. The Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale[17] was employed to assess the quality of each of the included studies. Any discrepancy was resolved by discussion or by a third reviewer.

3.6 Data analyses

The effect estimate of interest will be the odd ratio (OR). Statistical analyses will be performed using Review Manager 5.3 statistical software and Stata 15.0 software. The outcomes will be presented as the relative risk, mean difference or standardized mean difference and its 95% CI. The statistical significance will be assessed for P < .05, and moderate to high levels of heterogeneity will be considered for I2 > 50%.[18] A fixed effects model will be used if no statistical heterogeneity across the studies; otherwise, the random effects model will be considered.

3.7 Publication bias

If included studies were more than ten, funnel plot will be used to identify the possible publication bias. Additionally, Egg regression and Begg tests will be utilized to detect the funnel plot asymmetry.[19]

3.8 Subgroup analysis

If there is enough research, we will conduct a subgroup analysis to investigate differences in age, gender and et al.

4 Discussion

It is not clear how Tanreqing Injection affects the treatment of viral pneumonia. This systematic review and meta-analysis will evaluate the efficacy and safety of Tanreqing Injection for the treatment of viral pneumonia. The results of this review will be widely disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. This evidence may also provide helpful evidence of whether Tanreqing Injection affects the treatment of viral pneumonia.

Author contributions

Acquisition: Yue Qiu, Xue Pan, Lin Su, Ya-Dong Li.

Conceptualization: Yue Qiu, Ya-Dong Li.

Methodology: Ya-Dong Li.

Project administration: Xue Pan, Lin Su, Ya-Dong Li.

Writing & original draft: Yue Qiu, Xue Pan, Lin Su, Ya-Dong Li.


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meta-analysis; Tanreqing Injection; viral pneumonia

Copyright © 2020 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.