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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 637969, 11 pages
Research Article

Effect of Lianhuaqingwen Capsules on Airway Inflammation in Patients with Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Department of Pneumology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, No. 12 Wulumuqi Zhong Road, Shanghai 200040, China

Received 23 January 2014; Revised 25 April 2014; Accepted 3 May 2014; Published 25 May 2014

Academic Editor: Kenji Watanabe

Copyright © 2014 Liang Dong 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.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by a chronic inflammatory response that is worsened by acute exacerbations. Lianhuaqingwen (LHQW) has anti-inflammatory and immune regulatory functions and may inhibit the airway inflammation that occurs during an acute exacerbation of COPD. In this study, 100 participants were recruited and randomly assigned, 1 : 1, to the LHQW and the conventional groups, which were treated, respectively, with LHQW capsules and conventional Western medicine or only conventional Western medicine. The scores of the CAT scale and levels of inflammatory cytokines in blood and sputum were measured during treatment. In addition, subjects were subdivided into high-risk and low-risk subgroups. The CAT scores in the LHQW group and high-risk subgroup were clearly improved from the 5th day, but the other groups improved only after treatment was completed. Expression levels of IL-8, TNF-α, IL-17, and IL-23 in the sputum and of IL-8 and IL-17 in the blood were significantly decreased after treatment, and similar results were found in subgroups. These data suggested that LHQW capsules can accelerate the improvement of AECOPD patients, especially for the high-risk subgroup, and the mechanism of action may be related to the decreased release of inflammatory mediators.