Short-term acupuncture therapy is of no benefit in patients with moderate persistent asthma

Item

Title

Short-term acupuncture therapy is of no benefit in patients with moderate persistent asthma

Author(s)

Date

2002

volume

121(5)

pages

1396-1400

Research Type

RCT

Keywords

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES: Acupuncture traditionally has been used to treat asthma. Nevertheless, only a few controlled studies have been performed to determine the efficacy of this treatment. Our study aimed to determine the efficacy of acupuncture in patients with moderate persistent asthma. METHODS: Twenty-three patients with moderate persistent asthma who had been treated only with inhaled beta(2)-agonists were randomly assigned to receive four sessions of real acupuncture (RA) or sham acupuncture (SA) in a blinded manner. After a washout period of 3 weeks, the patients were crossed over. Monitoring included FEV(1), methacholine challenge, daily peak flow (PF) variability, and the keeping of an asthma diary. RESULTS: Twenty of 23 patients completed the study. There was no significant change in FEV(1) following treatment. The mean (+/- SE) FEV(1) values before and after the RA were 73 +/- 4% and 73 +/- 3%, respectively (not significant [NS]). FEV(1) values before and after SA were 70 +/- 3% and 70 +/- 3%, respectively (NS). There was also no change in provocative methacholine concentration causing a 20% fall in FEV(1) (PC(20)) before and after treatment. The mean PC(20) values before and after RA were 0.92 +/- 0.42 mg/mL and 1.16 +/- 0.51 mg/mL, respectively (p = 0.71), while the PC(20) values before and after SA were 1.47 +/- 0.83 mg/mL and 1.11 +/- 0.79 mg/mL, respectively (p = 0.59). There was no change in the mean PF variability before and after the RA (1.6 +/- 3.1% and 1.8 +/- 2.3%, respectively [NS]). The PF variability before and after SA were 3.6 +/- 2.8% and 2.8 +/- 3.4%, respectively (NS). No significant difference was demonstrated for symptom scores or for the use of beta(2)-agonist inhalers (RA, 6.7 +/- 3.4; SA, 8.1 +/- 3.6; p = 0.58). CONCLUSION: In patients with moderate persistent asthma, a short course of acupuncture treatment resulted in no change in lung functions, bronchial hyperreactivity, or patient symptoms

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Frequency of Treatment

>1/WK

Time in Treatment

1 Week

has health condition studied

Respiratory Tract Diseases

has study population number

23

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