[Effect of moxibustion on clinical symptoms, peripheral inflammatory indexes and T lymphocyte subsets in COVID-19 patients]

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2020 Dec 12;40(12):1271-5. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.20200507-k0003.
[Article in Chinese]


Objective: To explore the therapeutic effect and the mechanism of the adjuvant treatment with moxibustion on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Methods: A total of 95 patients with COVID-19 were randomly divided into a moxibustion group (45 cases) and a basic treatment group (50 cases). The routine treatment of western medicine was applied in the patients of both groups. In the moxibustion group, on the base of the treatment of western medicine, moxibustion was applied to Dazhui (GV 14), Feishu (BL 13), Qihai (CV 6) and Zusanli (ST 36), once daily and consecutively for 14 days. At the end of treatment courses, clinical symptom scores for cough, asthmatic breathing, chest oppression and short breath, as well as their remission rates were compared between the two groups before and after treatment. Before and after treatment, the white blood cell (WBC) count, the levels of c-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the absolute number of T lymphocyte subsets, i.e. , and of the peripheral blood were compared in the patients between the two groups. The principal component analysis was adopted to analyze the common data extracted from the above 10 clinical indexes variables and comprehensively evaluate the differences in the therapeutic effect of two regimens.

Results: The clinical symptom scores were all decreased after treatment in both of the moxibustion group and the basic treatment group as compared with those before treatment (P<0.05). After treatment, the clinical symptom scores of cough, chest oppression and asthmatic breathing in the moxibustion group were lower significantly than those in the basic treatment group (P<0.05) and the remission rates of cough, chest oppression and asthmatic breathing were higher than the basic treatment group (P<0.05). After treatment, WBC count was increased as compared with that before treatment in either group (P<0.05) and the levels of CRP and IL-6 in the moxibustion group were reduced as compared with those before treatment (P<0.05). The reducing range of IL-6 level in the moxibustion group was larger than the basic treatment group (P<0.05). After treatment, the absolute number of , and T lymphocytes was increased as compared with that before treatment in the moxibustion group (P<0.05), and its increase range was larger than the basic treatment group (P<0.05). The difference value was 33.38 for the score of comprehensive evaluation before and after treatment in the moxbustion group, higher obviously than 8.91 in the basic treatment group.

Conclusion: On the base of the routine treatment with western medicine, moxibustion therapy supplemented relieves the clinical symptoms, reduces the levels of inflammatory indexes, i.e. IL-6 and CRP as well as improves the absolute number of peripheral T lymphocyte subsets. The clinical therapeutic effect of such regimen with moxibustion supplemented is significantly better than the simple routine treatment of western medicine.

目的:探讨艾灸辅助治疗新型冠状病毒肺炎(简称“新冠肺炎”,COVID-19)的临床疗效及作用机制。方法:将95例新冠肺炎确诊患者随机分为艾灸组(45例)和基础组(50例)。两组患者均给予西医常规治疗。艾灸组在西医常规治疗的基础上,于大椎、肺俞、气海、足三里穴施予艾灸,每日1次,连续治疗14 d。治疗结束后,比较两组患者治疗前后咳嗽、喘息、胸闷、气促临床症状积分和缓解率,对比两组患者治疗前后外周血白细胞(WBC)计数、 C反应蛋白(CRP)、白细胞介素(IL)-6水平及、和 T淋巴细胞绝对数。利用主成分分析从以上10个临床指标变量中抽提共有信息,综合评价两种治疗方案疗效的差异。结果:两组治疗后各临床症状积分均较治疗前降低 (P<0.05);艾灸组治疗后咳嗽、胸闷、喘息的临床症状积分明显低于基础组(P<0.05),咳嗽、胸闷、喘息的缓解率高于基础组(P<0.05)。两组治疗后WBC计数均较治疗前升高(P<0.05);艾灸组治疗后CRP、IL-6水平较治疗前降低(P<0.05);艾灸组IL-6水平降低幅度大于基础组(P<0.05)。艾灸组治疗后、和 T淋巴细胞绝对数较治疗前升高(P<0.05),且升高幅度大于基础组(P<0.05)。艾灸组治疗前后综合评价得分的差值为33.38,明显高于基础组的8.91。结论:在西医常规治疗的基础上加用艾灸疗法可改善COVID-19患者临床症状,降低IL-6、CRP炎性指标水平,提高外周血T淋巴细胞亚群绝对数,临床疗效明显优于单纯西医常规治疗。.

Keywords: T lymphocyte subsetsa; asthmatic breathinga; chest oppressiona; coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)a; cougha; inflammation indexes; moxibustiona.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Moxibustion*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology*


  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein