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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, PH. D., Zacharias


CiteScore 2017: 1.41

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.472
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.564

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1553-3840
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Effects of acupuncture on chronic idiopathic pruritus: an uncontrolled pilot study evaluating inflammatory changes with treatment

Mitchell Manway
  • Affiliated Dermatology & Affiliated Laboratories, Midwestern University Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institute, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Stephanie Blackburn
  • Affiliated Dermatology & Affiliated Laboratories, Midwestern University Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institute, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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/ Jason Barr
  • Affiliated Dermatology & Affiliated Laboratories, Midwestern University Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institute, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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/ Elizabeth Hull
  • Corresponding author
  • Biomedical Sciences Program, College of Graduate Studies, Midwestern University, 19555 N 59th Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85308, USA
  • Email
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/ Richard Averitte
  • Affiliated Dermatology & Affiliated Laboratories, Midwestern University Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institute, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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/ Yang Ahn
Published Online: 2018-11-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2018-0021

Abstract

Background

Conduct a pilot study addressing the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic idiopathic pruritus to aid in the design of a larger clinical trial. Routine laboratory tests to assess systemic inflammation in addition to subjective patient surveys were performed provide documentation of efficacy of treatment.

Methods

Patients with chronic pruritus who did not respond to standard treatment were recruited to participate. After exclusion of systemic or known reversible causes, each patient received up to 10 treatments which were performed approximately one week apart. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured before and after a series of acupuncture treatments to evaluate levels of inflammation and pre- and post-treatment surveys were conducted to evaluate levels of perceived itch.

Results

Only one of the ten patients in this study possessed an elevation of ESR before treatment. This patient's ESR value returned to normal range after treatment and this participant reported subjective relief of her pruritus.

Conclusions

Future studies on the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic idiopathic pruritus should focus on those patients with measurable levels of inflammation at the initiation of the study or utilize alternative and more comprehensive values to monitor disease response.

Keywords: acupuncture; chronic idopathic pruritus; inflammation

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About the article

Received: 2018-02-17

Accepted: 2018-10-04

Published Online: 2018-11-03


Author contributions: MM, SB, RA, JB, and YA designed the study. MM and SB recruited patients and gathered study data. YA performed treatments. MM and EH analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. MM, EH, RA, JB, and YA prepared the manuscript and critically revised it. All authors read and approved the final version accepted for publication.

Research funding: Midwestern University Osteopathic Post-Graduate Training Institute grant to SB.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 20180021, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2018-0021.

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