Background: Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has demonstrated hepatoprotective effect in animal hepatitis models. HO-1 was also reported to be upregulated with Guasha, an ancient therapeutic technique which applies instrument assisted press-stroking to treat many disorders.
Methods: We report a case on the changes of liver function, plasma HO-1 and T-helper (Th) cytokine balance in a chronic active hepatitis B carrier before and after Guasha. The patient presented with increased activities of liver enzymes (ALT and AST), indicating inflammatory damage in liver before Guasha.
Results: Forty-eight hours after receiving Guasha, the patient showed changes in a number of serum markers: a decline of liver enzymes (ALT and AST) indicating reduced chronic inflammation, an elevated plasma HO-1, and a modulation of T-helper (Th)1/Th2 balance.
Conclusions: Guasha was shown to transiently reduce the inflammatory markers of liver injury in human, together with an enhancement of HO-1 which might be responsible for the hepatoprotective action.
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