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Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a medical system with over 3000 years of continuous practice experience and refinement through treatment observations. The TCM pattern classification (also defined as Syndrome or Zheng differentiation) and treatment of ill health is the basis and the key concept of the TCM theory. All diagnostic and therapeutic methods in TCM are based on the differentiation of TCM pattern. TCM pattern can be considered as the TCM theoretical interpretation of the symptom profiles. Pattern classification is often used as a guideline in disease classification in TCM practice and has been recently incorporated with biomedical diagnosis, resulting in the increasing research interest of TCM pattern among various disciplines of integrative medicine. This paper describes the historical evolution on the integration of the TCM pattern classification and disease diagnosis in biomedicine, the methodology of pattern classification for diseases, efficacy of TCM practice with integration of TCM pattern classification and biomedical disease diagnosis, and the biological basis of TCM pattern. TCM pattern classification, which may lead to new findings in biological sciences, was also discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Aiping Lu, Miao Jiang, Chi Zhang, Kelvin Chan. An integrative approach of linking traditional Chinese medicine pattern classification and biomedicine diagnosis. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2012 Jun 1;141(2):549-56

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PMID: 21896324

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