The effect of prophylactic acupuncture treatment in women with recurrent cystitis: kidney patients fare better



The effect of prophylactic acupuncture treatment in women with recurrent cystitis: kidney patients fare better


Journal Publication







Research Type




OBJECTIVE: To evaluate how the effect of acupuncture treatment in recurrent cystitis relates to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnostic categories and physiologic measurements. SETTING/LOCATION: Two private acupuncture clinics in Bergen, Norway. Measurements were carried out in Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Ninety-eight (98) cystitis-prone women were randomly assigned to acupuncture treatment or no treatment. Main effect parameter was number of cystitis during 6 months observation time. Residual urine was measured with an automatic Bladder Scan 2500 (Diagnostic Ultrasound Corporation, Bothell, WA) at baseline, 2, 4 and 6 months. RESULTS: Twenty-two (22) patients had Spleen yang/qi xu (Sp), 18 Kidney yang/qi xu (Kid), and 18 Liver qi stagnation (Liv). Of the Kid group, 78% were free of cystitis (irrespective of bacteriuria) during the observation period compared to 45% in the Sp group, 44% in the Liv group (p < or = 0.05, Kid versus Sp and Liv), and 17% in the nontreated group (p < or = 0.01, versus all treated patients). One sixth as many episodes of acute cystitis occurred in the Kid group compared to the nontreated group (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05-0.42, p < or = 0.001). Similarly, we found IRR = 0.49 (0.25-0.83) in the Sp group and IRR = 0.42 (0.21-0.80) in the Liv group. Subanalyzing for cystitis with detected bacteriuria yielded comparable results. Kid patients significantly reduced their residual urine from baseline to 6 months (36.4 mL versus 12.9 mL, p < or = 0.05). The reduction was less and nonsignificant in Sp and Liv groups (31.5 mL versus 22.2 mL, 36.4 mL versus 16.7 mL, respectively). Residual urine remained unchanged among nontreated patients. CONCLUSION: Our findings show a better acupuncture treatment effect on Kidney yang/qi xu than on other TCM syndromes found in women with recurrent cystitis. This has practical implications, and highlights the need for considering different TCM diagnostic categories in acupuncture research

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has health condition studied

Urologic Diseases



has study population number


has duration

4 Weeks

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