Acupoint Injection Decreases Anesthetic Cosumption during Combined Spinal-Epidural and Patient-Controlled Epidural Labor Analgesia

Chin J Integr Med. 2021 Nov 3. doi: 10.1007/s11655-021-3501-8. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To explore if acupoint injection can improve analgesic effects or delivery outcomes in parturients who received combined spinal-epidural analgesia (CSEA) and patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) for labor analgesia.

Methods: A total of 307 participants were prospectively collected from July 2017 to December 2019. The participants were randomized into the combined acupoint injection with CSEA plus PCEA group (AICP group, n=168) and CSEA plus PCEA group (CP group, n=139) for labor analgesia using a random number table. Both groups received CSEA plus PCEA at cervical dilation 3 cm during labor process, and parturients of the AICP group were implemented acupoint injection for which bilateral acupoint of Zusanli (ST 36) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) were selected in addition. The primary outcome was Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score, and the secondary outcomes were obstetric outcomes and requirement of anesthetics doses. Safety evaluations were performed after intervention.

Results: The VAS scores were significantly lower in the AICP group than in the CP group at 10, 30, 60, and 120 min after labor analgesia (all P<0.05). The latent phase of the AICP group was shorter than that of the CP group (P<0.05). There were less additional anesthetics consumption, lower incidences of uterine atony, fever, pruritus and urinary retention in the AICP group than those in the CP group (all P<0.05).

Conclusion: Acupoint injection combined CSEA plus PCEA for labor analgesia can decrease the anesthetic consumption, improve analgesic quality, and reduce adverse reactions in the parturients. (Registration No. ChiMCTR-2000003120).

Keywords: acupoint injection; anesthetic consumption; combined spinal-epidural analgesia; labor analgesia; multimodal analgesia.