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J Intern Med. 1997 Feb; 241(2): 119-24.

Treatment of primary Raynaud's syndrome with traditional Chinese acupuncture.

Appiah R, Hiller S, Caspary L, Alexander K, Creutzig A.

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Department of Angiology, Germany.

OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of the effects of a standardized acupuncture treatment in primary Raynaud's syndrome. DESIGN: A controlled randomized prospective study. SETTING: A winter period of 23 weeks, angiological clinic of Hannover Medical School. SUBJECTS: Thirty-three patients with primary Raynaud's syndrome (16 control, 17 treatment). INTERVENTIONS: The patients of the treatment group were given seven acupuncture treatments during the weeks 10 and 11 of the observation period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All patients kept a diary throughout the entire observation period noting daily frequency, duration and severity of their vasospastic attacks. A local cooling test combined with nailfold capillaroscopy was performed for all patients at baseline (week 1) and in weeks 12 and 23, recording flowstop reactions of the nailfold capillaries. RESULTS: The treated patients showed a significant decrease in the frequency of attacks from 1.4 day-1 to 0.6 day-1, P < 0.01 (control 1.6 to 1.2, P = 0.08). The overall reduction of attacks was 63% (control 27%, P = 0.03). The mean duration of the capillary flowstop reaction decreased from 71 to 24 s (week 1 vs. week 12, P = 0.001) and 38 s (week 1 vs. week 23, P = 0.02) respectively. In the control group the changes were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that traditional Chinese acupuncture is a reasonable alternative in treating patients with primary Raynaud's syndrome.


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