Objective: To observe the effect of acupuncture of Jianjing (GB 21) and non-acupoint on gallbladder volume and clinical symptoms of chronic cholecystitis patients.
Methods: Sixty cases of chronic cholecystitis patients were equally randomized into Jianjing (GB 21) group and non-acupoint group. A filiform needle was inserted into Jianjing (GB 21) or non-acupoint (2 cun lateral to the mid-point between the spinous processes of the 6th and 7th cervical vertebrae) on the right side, manipulated for a while till "Deqi", and retained for 30 min. A color Doppler ultrasound scanner was used to detect the volume of the gallbladder before and 15 min after acupuncture stimulation and 30 min after withdrawal of the acupuncture needle. Changes of the patients symptoms of shoulder-back pain, stomachache, distension and nausea were evaluated according to the patients' complaints.
Results: After acupuncture intervention, the remission rates of shoulder-back pain and stomachache in non-acupoint and GB 21 groups were 56.67% and 90.00% respectively, while the effective rates of the patients' gastric distention and nausea in non-acupoint and GB 21 groups were 16.67% and 23.33%, respectively. The therapeutic effect of Jianjing (GB 21) was apparently superior to that of non-acupoint in pain relief (P < 0.05). Fifteen min following acupuncture stimulation and 30 min after withdrawal of the acupuncture needle, the gallbladder volume in cholecystitis patients with deflated gallbladder was increased apparently in GB 21 group (P < 0.01), and that in patients with expanded gallbladder was decreased significantly (P < 0.01). No significant differences were found among pre-, during and post-treatment in the non-acupoint group in the effects of acupuncture on regulation of the deflated and expanded gallbladder volume (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Acupuncture stimulation of Jianjing (GB 21) can effectively relieve shoulder-back pain and stomachache, and regulate the volume of the deflated and expanded gallbladder in cholecystitis patients. The effect of acupuncture of non-acupoint is relatively poorer in relieving the cholecystitis patients' symptoms and regulating the gallbladder volume.