Mining patterns of Chinese medicinal prescription for diabetes mellitus based on therapeutic effect

  • Xiaolin Zhu
  • Yongguo LiuEmail author
  • Qiaoqin Li
  • Yi Zhang
  • Chuanbiao Wen


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription comprises groups of Chinese herbs that embody thousands of years of history with respect to the treatment of diabetes mellitus (DM), a condition for which there are numerous prescriptions with different therapeutic effects. Existing studies on prescription patterns are based on the frequencies calculated using the traditional association rule algorithm. However, the most important concern for physicians is the efficacy of drug combinations in clinical practice, as no existing study has considered the efficacy of prescriptions. In this study, a weighted association rule algorithm called MWFPP (Mining Weighted Frequent Patterns of Prescription) was used to mine and analyze TCM prescriptions for the treatment of DM based on the therapeutic effect. As a result, the ranking of drug combinations with a low frequency but the good therapeutic effect in the randomized controlled trials (RCT) increased. These drug combinations were also effective in the treatment of DM according to TCM theory. Hence, effective drug combinations could be promising for prescription compatibility in clinical practice and drug discovery.


Diabetes mellitus Therapeutic effect Traditional Chinese medicine Weighted association rule 



This research was supported in part by the National Key R&D Program of China under grant 2017YFC1703905, the Sichuan Science and Technology Program under grants 2018SZ0065 and 2018TJPT0039, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under grant 81803851.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolin Zhu
    • 1
  • Yongguo Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qiaoqin Li
    • 1
  • Yi Zhang
    • 2
  • Chuanbiao Wen
    • 3
  1. 1.Knowledge and Data Engineering Laboratory of Chinese Medicine, School of Information and Software EngineeringUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Ethnic MedicineChengdu University of Traditional Chinese MedicineChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Medical Information EngineeringChengdu University of Traditional Chinese MedicineChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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