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J Pharmacopuncture. 2012 Dec;15(4):7-14. doi: 10.3831/KPI.2012.15.011.

Comparative study on the effects of bee venom pharmacopuncture according to the treatment method for knee osteoarthritis.

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Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Dong-Eui University College of Oriental Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dong-Eui Medical Center, Busan, Korea.



The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of bee venom pharmacopuncture (BVP) therapy according to the methods used to treat knee osteoarthritis (OA): intra-acupoint combined with intra-articular injection, intra-acupoint injection, and intra-articular injection.


A total of 69 patients were recruited by the Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion at Dong- Eui Oriental University Hospital from February 1 to July 23, 2012. The patients were assigned to 3 groups: the first group with intra-acupoint combined with intraarticular BVP Injection (the experimental group), the 2nd group with intra-acupoint BVP injection (control groupⅠ), and the 3rd group with intra-articular BVP injection (control groupⅡ). The participants were assigned in the order in which they were recruited. Treatments were done twice a week, for a total of 9 times. The effectiveness was assessed by using the visual analouge scale (VAS) and the Korea Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (KWOMAC).


All three groups exhibited significant VAS and KWOMAC effects. Moreover, the 4 week follow-up after the final treatment showed a persistence of BVP effects. However, when the groups were compared, no statistically significant differences in VAS and KWOMAC were noted, but when improvement was considered, the results showed that intra-articular injection was more effective than intra-acupoint injection. Especially, intra-acupoint combined with intra-articular injection was the most effective among the three treatments.


Combining intra-acupoint with intraarticular injection, depending on the patient's symptoms, may produce better results when conservatively treating knee OA.


bee venom pharmacopuncture; intra-acupoint injection; intra-articular injection; knee osteoarthritis

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