Controlled trial of acupuncture for disabling breathlessness

Lancet. 1986 Dec;2(8521-22):1416-9. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(86)92732-7.


In a randomised controlled trial, twelve matched pairs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease received traditional Chinese acupuncture or placebo acupuncture. After three weeks' treatment the traditional-acupuncture group showed significantly greater benefit in terms of subjective scores of breathlessness and six-minute walking distance. Objective measures of lung function were unchanged in either group. Whether these differences are mediated by endogenous opiate and/or peptide release remains speculative.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Aged
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Exertion
  • Pilot Projects
  • Random Allocation
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Function Tests