主 办:北 京 中 医 药 大 学
ISSN 1006-2157 CN 11-3574/R

JOURNAL OF BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ›› 2020, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (10): 849-858.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1006-2157.2020.10.009

• Clinical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

TCM analysis of tongue characteristics in 3,211 patients with metabolic syndrome based on multicenter database*

Zhu Xiaoyun1, Tang Yang2, Zhu Lili2, Feng Lei3, Liu Ximing1#   

  1. 1 Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China;
    2 Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China;
    3 China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
  • Received:2019-12-05 Online:2020-10-30 Published:2020-11-04
  • Contact: Prof. Liu Ximing, Ph.D., Chief Physician, Doctoral Supervisor. Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. No. 5 Beixian’ge Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053. E-mail: lxmhos@aliyun.com
  • Supported by:
    National Science and Technology Major Projects (No. 2011ZX09102-011-08); National Science and Technology Support Program (No. 2009BAI80B04); National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81804085)

Abstract: Objective To analyze the characteristics of tongue in patients with metabolic syndrome (MS) and provide evidence and support for the correlation between TCM pattern differentiation based on tongue characteristic and basis of human biology. Methods Data of MS patients’ tongue images and their physical and chemical examination results were extracted from MS clinical epidemiological investigation database. SPSS17.0 software was used for descriptive statistical analysis and stepwise logistic regression of the data. Results 3,211 MS patients were included in the study with a male-to-female ratio of 1.06∶1. The number of patients with abnormal levels of blood lipids, blood pressure (BP) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) was the largest (1,050), accounting for 32.70%. The number of those with abnormal levels of blood lipids and BP and normal levels of FPG came next (1,010), accounting for 31.45%, followed by the number of cases with abnormal levels of FPG and BP and normal levels of blood lipids (719), accounting for 22.39%. The average age of the patients was 53.86±10.33 with the majority aged from 40 to 69. The age distribution of men is younger than that of women. The most frequently observed abnormal tongue shapes were enlarged tongue (32.4%), cracked tongue (14.2%) and teeth-marked tongue (11.0%). In terms of tongue color, red tongue (38.2%) was the most frequently encountered, followed by pale tongue (17.0%) and light purple tongue (15.1%). Varicose sublingual vein cyanosis (14.4%) was also seen at a high frequency. The colors of tongue coatings were mainly yellow and white, accounting for 53.9% and 46.0% respectively. Most of the tongue coatings were thin (37.6%), greasy (36.8%) or thick (25.4%). Logistic regression showed that increase in blood pressure was significantly related to enlarged tongue, red and crimson tongue, stasis macules and spots on the tongue, varicose sublingual vein cyanosis and thin tongue coating, etc. Abnormal levels of blood lipids were significantly correlated with light purple tongue, varicose sublingual vein cyanosis, greasy tongue coating, thick tongue coating and glossy tongue coating. Increase in fasting blood glucose was positively related to pale tongue. However, there was a negative correlation between blood glucose and varicose sublingual vein cyanosis, moist tongue coating and glossy tongue coating. Meanwhile, there was a close relationship between changes in tongue image and patients’ physical and chemical examination results. Deep tongue color, stasis macules and spots on the tongue and varicose sublingual vein cyanosis were related to significant increase in blood viscosity. Conclusion Tongue images of MS patients of different types demonstrate different characteristics. Most of them present excess pattern with blood stasis featuring deep tongue color, stasis macules and spots on the tongue and varicose sublingual vein cyanosis. There is consistency and correlation between tongue image and pathogenic factors, physical and chemical examination results and hemorheological parameters of patients with MS, which reflects the influence of multiple factors on MS. The present findings can provide Objective basis for clinical diagnosis and treatment of MS.

Key words: metabolic syndrome, epidemiology, tongue characteristics, TCM pathogenesis

CLC Number: 

  • R241.25