Electro-acupuncture attenuates inflammatory responses and intraabdominal pressure in septic patients: A randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background:

A pathological increase in intraabdominal pressure (IAP) and inflammatory responses have negative effects on splanchnic, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, and neurological function in septic patients with intestinal dysfunction. Electro-acupuncture (EA) has been evidenced to have a bidirectional neuron-endocrine-immune system regulating effect in patients with intestinal dysfunction. The purpose of current study was to evaluate the effects of EA at “Zusanli” (ST36) and “Shangjuxu” (ST37) on inflammatory responses and IAP in septic patients with intestinal dysfunction manifested syndrome of obstruction of the bowels Qi.

Methods:

Eighty-two septic patients with intestinal dysfunction manifested syndrome of obstruction of the bowels Qi were randomly assigned to control group (n = 41) and EA group (n = 41). Patients in control group were given conventional therapies including fluid resuscitation, antiinfection, vasoactive agents, mechanical ventilation (MV), supply of enteral nutrition, and glutamine as soon as possible. In addition to conventional therapies, patients in EA group underwent 20-minutes of EA at ST36-ST37 twice a day for 5 days. At baseline, posttreatment 1, 3, and 7 days, serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IAP levels, were measured, respectively. And days on MV, length of stay in intensive care unit (ICU) and 28 days mortality were recorded.

Results:

The serum levels of TNF-α and IL-1β and IAP levels at posttreatment 1, 3, and 7 days were lower significantly in the EA group compared with the control group (mean [SD]; 61.03 [20.39] vs 79.28 [20.69]; P < .005, mean [SD]; 35.34 [18.75] vs 66.53 [30.43]; P < .005 and mean [SD]; 20.32 [11.30] vs 32.99 [20.62]; P = .001, respectively, TNF-α. Mean [SD]; 14.11 [5.21] vs 16.72 [5.59]; P = .032, mean [SD]; 9.02 [3.62] vs 12.10 [4.13]; P = .001 and mean [SD]; 5.11 [1.79] vs 8.19 [2.99]; P < .005, respectively, IL-1β. Mean [SD]; 14.83 [5.58] vs 17.55 [3.37]; P = .009, mean [SD]; 11.20 [2.57] vs 14.85 [3.01]; P < .005 and mean [SD]; 8.62 [2.55] vs 11.25 [2.72]; P < .005, respectively, IAP). There were no significant differences in the duration of MV, length of stay in ICU, and 28d mortality between the groups.

Conclusion:

EA at ST36-ST37 attenuated inflammatory responses through reduction in serum levels of TNF-α and IL-1β and IAP in septic patients with intestinal dysfunction manifested syndrome of obstruction of the bowels Qi.

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