Combined traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. Relieving effects of Chinese herbs, ear-acupuncture and epidural morphine on postoperative pain in liver cancer

Chin Med J (Engl). 1994 Apr;107(4):289-94.


In the evaluation of Chinese herbs (A), ear-acupuncture (B) and epidural morphine (C) to relieve postoperative pain and abdominal distension, sixteen male patients with primary liver cancer were observed. This study was conducted by means of orthogonal experiment and double blind, randomized design. The patients received various treatments according to the display of the orthogonal table L16(2)15 which corresponds to 2(3) factorial experiment design. C+ (morphine 2 mg) was given before the peritoneum was sutured. A+ (orally administered) and B+ were given 24 hours after operation. 50-100 mg of pethidine was given when the pain intensity VAS (0-100) exceeded 50-70. The observation parameters included plasma leucine enkephalin (LEK), postoperative total dosage of narcotics administered for 5 days, VAS for pain and pain reliever, abdominal distension, urinary retention, constipation, etc. The results were as follows: a. Patients who had received A (A+B+C+, A+B+C-, A+B-C-, A+B-C+); C (C+A+B+, C+A+B-, C+A-B+, C+A-B-), or B (B+A+C+, B+A+C-, B+A-C+, B+A-C-) produced better analgesic effects than those who had received placebo. The A, B, and C reduced narcotics 650, 450 and 550 mg respectively when compared with placebo. The effects of A and C were of statistical significance (P < 0.05), while AB, BC, and AC interactions were not found; b. A and B minimized abdominal distension and urinary retention, while C prolonged them. As compared with the placebo, A and B accelerated restoration of bowel peristalsis (P < 0.05, ANOVA). Both A and B decreased it for 165 hours, while epidural morphine prolonged it for 49 hours; and c.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Ear, External
  • Flatulence / therapy
  • Humans
  • Injections, Epidural
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morphine / administration & dosage*
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Pressure


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Morphine