Background: Laser acupuncture, a painless technique, is a widely used alternative treatment method for childhood asthma, although its efficacy has not been proved in controlled clinical studies.
Methods: A double blind, placebo controlled, crossover study was performed to investigate the possible protective effect of a single laser acupuncture treatment on cold dry air hyperventilation induced bronchoconstriction in 44 children and adolescents of mean age 11.9 years (range 7.5–16.7) with exercise induced asthma. Laser acupuncture was performed on real and placebo points in random order on two consecutive days. Lung function was measured before laser acupuncture, immediately after laser acupuncture (just before cold dry air challenge (CACh)), and 3 and 15 minutes after CACh. CACh consisted of a 4 minute isocapnic hyperventilation of –10°C absolute dry air.
Results: Comparison of real acupuncture with placebo acupuncture showed no significant differences in the mean maximum CACh induced decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (27.2 (18.2)% v 23.8 (16.2)%) and maximal expiratory flow at 25% remaining vital capacity (51.6 (20.8)% v 44.4 (22.3)%).
Conclusions: A single laser acupuncture treatment offers no protection against exercise induced bronchoconstriction in paediatric and adolescent patients.
- laser acupuncture
- CACh, cold dry air challenge
- EIB, exercise induced bronchoconstriction
- EIA, exercise induced asthma
- FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 second
- MEF25, maximal expiratory flow at 25% remaining vital capacity
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