Objectives To examine the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on inflammatory responses in patients with acute pancreatitis (AP).
Methods Eighty patients with mild or severe AP were randomly allocated to a control group or an EA group. All patients were managed conservatively. In addition, the EA group received acupuncture for 30 min per day for 7 days at bilateral points ST36, LI4, TE6, ST37 and LR3. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10 and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured on admission and on day 7. The time to re-feeding and length of stay in hospital were also recorded.
Results A total of 58 patients provided complete data. The characteristics of the patients in the EA and control groups were similar. After 7 days the serum concentrations of IL-10 were higher in the EA group than in the control group (mild AP: 6.2±1.2 vs 5.2±0.9 pg/mL, p<0.05; severe AP: 14.9±7.8 vs 7.9±6.3 pg/mL, p<0.05). For patients with severe AP, the CRP level in the EA group was lower than in the control group (p<0.05).
Conclusions EA may reduce the severity of AP by inducing anti-inflammatory effects and reducing the time to re-feeding; however, it did not reduce the length of hospital stay.
Trial registration number ChiCTR-TRC-13003572.
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