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January 2022

Rev Pneumol Clin. 1984 ; 40(1): 69-70.

[Treatment of an asthmatic crisis by acupuncture. Probable role in the onset of pneumothorax with development to status asthmaticus]

Carette MF, Mayaud C, Houacine S, Milleron B, Toty L, Akoun G.

The onset of pneumothorax during acupuncture treatment has been reported since 1973. Usually unilateral, it occurs in patients free from any bronchopulmonary disease, and its consequences are therefore relatively benign. However, rare cases of bilateral pneumothorax have been reported since 1978, as well as a pneumothorax developing in asthmatic patients, with often dramatic consequences. A 15-year-old girl with a severe attack of asthma was treated by implantation of needles, and this coincided with the onset of a pneumothorax, and a subsequent state of status asthmaticus. A fatal outcome was only just avoided. The question is raised as to the technical quality of the implantations practised, as well as the validity and dangers of acupuncture in asthmatics, particularly during the acute attack.

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