acm%2E2011%2E0222.pdf (113.33 kB)

An Adjunct Intervention for Management of Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AECOPD)

Download (113.33 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2013 by Shirley P.C. Ngai, Alice Y.M. Jones, Christina W.Y. Hui-Chan, Fanny W.S. Ko, David S.C. Hui
Objectives: Application of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation over acupuncture points (Acu-TENS) is a noninvasive intervention that has recently been shown to alleviate dyspnea in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This case report aims to explore the role of Acu-TENS in patients diagnosed with COPD during the acute exacerbation. Study design: The study design was a case report. Setting: The study was conducted in an inpatient setting. Subject: The subject was a 74-year-old man admitted to the hospital due to acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD). Intervention: Treatment consisted of application of TENS on EX-B1 (Dingchuan) for 45 minutes. Outcome measures: Oxygen saturation, heart rate, and dyspnea score were measured before, immediately after, and 45 minutes after Acu-TENS intervention. Other than the physiologic measures, 10mL of venous blood was taken from the cubital vein for assessment of beta-endorphin level, white blood cell count, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and C-reactive protein (CRP) level before and immediately postintervention. Results: Postintervention, improved oxygen saturation, and reduction in heart rate and dyspneic sensation were observed accompanied by a raised blood beta-endorphin level but the level of white blood cell count, TNF-alpha, and CRP remain unchanged. Conclusions: Application of 45 minutes Acu-TENS appeared to alleviate symptoms in a patient with AECOPD. The role of adjunctive Acu-TENS therapy during acute exacerbation warrants further investigation.




Publisher Statement

This is a copy of an article published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine © 2013 Copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is available online at:


Mary Ann Liebert





Issue date