The effect of acupuncture on the clinical state of patients suffering from chronic spastic bronchitis and undergoing long-term treatment with corticosteroids

Acupunct Electrother Res. 1984;9(4):203-15. doi: 10.3727/036012984816714640.


51 patients suffering from chronic spastic bronchitis were treated with acupuncture over a period of three years. The patient group consisted of 15 men and 36 women varying in age from 19 to 75 years, with an average age of 45.7 years. The therapy program consisted of 2 or 3 months of acupuncture treatment in alternation with an equal period (2 or 3 months) of recess during which no treatment was administered. Before acupuncture, patients had taken corticosteroids either orally and/or intramuscularly for a period of 2 to 24 years. For those taking corticosteroids orally the daily dosages ranged from 10 to 40 mg Encorton (Polfa, Poland). The patients took intramuscular injections of 60 to 80 mg Kenalog (Squibb) every two or three weeks. Of the 51 patients, 36 completed 3 years of acupuncture treatment. It was found that 63.8% of the patients were able to eliminate corticosteroids for the last part of this study period, i.e., from 3 to 26 months (average period 10.2 months). In 13.9% of the patients the dose of intramuscular injection of corticosteroids was reduced by over 60% during acupuncture treatment. In 16.7% of the patients, the oral administration of corticosteroids was only during lung infections with dyspnoea. In 7 patients (i.e., in 19.5% of the 36 patients) administration of all previously required drugs (i.e., corticosteroids, mucolytic drugs, appropriate antibiotics, aminoxanthines, sympathomimetic beta-agonists, sedation drugs, aerosolized drugs with corticosteroids, and nebulized drugs) during the last 3 to 15 months of this study period (average of 9.8 months) were no longer required.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchitis / drug therapy
  • Bronchitis / physiopathology
  • Bronchitis / therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spirometry
  • Time Factors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones