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Effect of electroacupuncture on the inflammatory response in patients with acute pancreatitis: an exploratory study
  1. Shi-Feng Zhu1,
  2. Hui Guo1,
  3. Rong-Rong Zhang2,
  4. Yumei Zhang1,
  5. Juan Li1,
  6. Xian-Lin Zhao1,
  7. Tian-Rong Chen3,
  8. Mei-Hua Wan1,
  9. Guang-Yuan Chen1,
  10. Wen-Fu Tang1
  1. 1Department of Integrative Medicine, Sichuan Center for Pancreatitis, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
  2. 2Second Affiliated Hospital of Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, China
  3. 3Mianyang Attached Hospital of Chengdu University of TCM, Mianyang, Sichuan Province, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Wen-Fu Tang, Department of Integrative Medicine, Sichuan Center for Pancreatitis, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province 610041, China; hxtangwenfu{at}126.com

Abstract

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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