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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 798081, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep240
Case Report

Acupuncture Treatment of a Patient with Persistent Allergic Rhinitis Complicated by Rhinosinusitis and Asthma

1Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Meridian Research Center, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
2Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Division of Standard Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, 305-811, Republic of Korea

Received 19 August 2009; Accepted 28 December 2009

Copyright © 2011 Ae-Ran Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A pathophysiologic relationship between allergic rhinitis and rhinosinusitis and asthma has long been suggested. However, few clinical studies of acupuncture have been conducted on these comorbid conditions. A 48-year-old male suffering from persistent allergic rhinitis with comorbid chronic rhinosinusitis and asthma since the age of 18 years was studied. He complained of nasal obstruction, sneezing, cough, rhinorrhea and moderate dyspnea. He occasionally visited local ear-nose-throat clinics for his nasal symptoms, but gained only periodic symptom relief. The patient was treated with acupuncture, infrared radiation to the face and electro-acupuncture. Needles were inserted at bilateral LI20, GV23, LI4 and EX-1 sites with De-qi. Electro-acupuncture was performed simultaneously at both LI20 sites and additional traditional Korean acupuncture treatments were performed. Each session lasted for 10 min and the sessions were carried out twice a week for 5 weeks. The patient’s Mini-Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality-of-Life Questionnaire score decreased from 38, at the beginning of treatment, to 23, 3 weeks after the last treatment. The Total Nasal Symptom Score was reduced from six (baseline) to five, 3 weeks after the last treatment. There was significant clinical improvement in the forced expiratory volume in 1 s—from 3.01 to 3.50 l—with discontinuation of the inhaled corticosteroid, and no asthma-related complaints were reported. Further clinical studies investigating the effectiveness of acupuncture for the patients suffering from allergic rhinitis and/or rhinosinusitis with comorbid asthma are needed.