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Acupuncture has been suggested to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in China. However, current evidence is insufficient to draw a firm conclusion regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture in COPD. Therefore, this multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture for treating patients with COPD.This is a two-arm, parallel group, multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled trial with concealed allocation, and participants, assessor, and analyst blinding. Seventy-two participants with COPD were recruited and randomly divided into 2 groups (real acupuncture group and sham acupuncture group) in a 1:1 ratio. Patients received either real or sham needling at the same acupoints 3 times weekly for 8 weeks. The primary outcome was dyspnea on exertion evaluated using the 6-minute walk test. In addition, health-related quality of life was also evaluated. Measurements were obtained at baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment.Six-minute walking distance measurements and health-related quality of life were significantly better in the real acupuncture group than that in the sham acupuncture group.The findings suggest that acupuncture can be used as an adjunctive therapy to reduce dyspnea in patients with COPD.