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A randomized clinical trial was undertaken to investigate the efficacy of acupoint catgut embedding (ACE) as adjunctive therapy to tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) therapy on gallbladder emptying and clinical symptoms in patients with gallstone disease. Between August 2018 and January 2019, 70 patients with gallstones in our hospital were enrolled in this prospective clinical trial. All the patients were randomly divided into the ACE group (ACE+TUDCA treatment for 8 wk) and the Sham group (Sham ACE+TUDCA treatment for 8 wk). In the ACE group, all the patients were nightly given ACE every 2 weeks, and in 2 groups, every patient took TUDCA 500 mg at bedtime. The parameters about gallbladder emptying were detected by ultrasound before and after the treatment, and the clinical symptom scores were recorded at the same time points. A total of 63 patients with gallstone disease were included in our study, with 33 patients in the ACE group and 30 patients in the Sham group. In the ACE group, the empty volume (EV) and gallbladder ejection fraction (GBEF) were improved after treatment (P<0.05). Almost every symptom score (except symptom 7, P=0.15) and total score were decreased (P<0.05). In the Sham group, the symptom 1, 2, 4, 5 scores, and total score were significantly decreased (P<0.05). Moreover, the residual volume in the ACE group was significantly lower than in the Sham group (P=0.008). The EV and GBEF in the ACE group were higher than that in the Sham group (P<0.05). The score of symptom 6 in the ACE group was lower than that in the Sham group (P=0.008). ACE therapy could more effectively improve the gallbladder emptying with a shorter treatment course. Therefore, ACE+TUDCA therapy might be a time-saving treatment for gallstones. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Junyi Duan, Xin Chen, Yixing Wang, Gang Zhao, Jing Li, Yi Gao, Jinyuan Zhang, Xiangrui Wang, Lijun Liao, Yuelai Chen. Acupoint Catgut Embedding as Adjunctive Therapy for Patients With Gallstones. Journal of clinical gastroenterology. 2021 Jan 19

PMID: 33471487

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