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Self-administered electroacupuncture provides symptomatic relief in a patient with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction: a patient's report
  1. Wolfgang Andreas Walter1,
  2. Hazel Clare Curtis2
  1. 1Bristol, UK
  2. 2Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Wolfgang Andreas Walter, 10 Belgrave Road, Bristol BS8 2AB, UK; wolfgangwalter{at}


A 46-year-old woman with differentially diagnosed sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD) type III is described. After two and a half years of managing the condition with a conventional medical/pharmacological approach, the patient's symptoms worsened and she sought complementary approaches, starting traditional acupuncture treatment before receiving training from a practitioner of Western medical acupuncture to self-administer electroacupuncture. The frequency and intensity of severe night-time pain attacks reduced and, additionally, self-administered manual acupuncture during pain attacks resulted in quick, lasting, complete symptomatic pain resolution. This is the first published case report using electroacupuncture in the clinical management of this condition. It shows patient-administered electroacupuncture as a low-risk well-tolerated procedure which provided effective pain relief and reduced the frequency and severity of pain attacks. Self-administered acupuncture could be considered as a potential complementary medical approach for patients with SOD type III before resorting to endoscopic SO manometry and sphincterotomy which carry significant associated risks of pancreatitis.

  • Electroacupuncture
  • sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
  • self-acupuncture

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