Acupuncture therapy results in immediate bronchodilating effect in asthma patients

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Background: According to previous data on asthma in the English literature, there are some results that show encouraging effects of acupuncture improving pulmonary function in asthma patients. We designed a prospective randomized crossover controlled study to determine the efficacy of acupuncture in asthma patients. Methods: Eighteen asthma patients with bronchodilator response >20% improvement of forced expiratory volume in I second (FEV1) were initially randomly assigned to receive 1 performance of real acupuncture (RA) or sham acupuncture (SA) in a blinded manner. After a washout period, the patients were crossed over. Spirometry was done and recorded before and after acupuncture. Results: Sixteen of 18 patients completed the study. The mean (± SD) FEV1 values before and after RA were 1.52 ± 0.45 L and 1.67 ± 0.40 L, respectively (p < 0.001). The mean (± SD) FEV, values before and after SA were 1.49 ± 0.40 L and 1.49 ± 0.41 L, respectively (p = 0.838, not significant). The percentage change in FEV1 values after RA was better than after SA (RA, 11.57 ± 8.11%; SA, 0.32 ± 7.76%; p = 0.003), while the bronchodilator response of FEVI. from simple inhalation bronchodilator was better than that for RA (p < 0.001). Conclusion: In asthma patients, acupuncture treatment may result in immediate improvement of FEV1, but the degree of improvement is less than that from inhalation bronchodilator. © 2007 Elsevier. All rights reserved.

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Chu, K. A., Wu, Y. C., Ting, Y. M., Wang, H. C., & Lu, J. Y. (2007). Acupuncture therapy results in immediate bronchodilating effect in asthma patients. Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, 70(7), 265–268.

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