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Laryngoscope. 2016 Jan;126(1):E18-22. doi: 10.1002/lary.25483. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

Wound-healing effect of acupuncture for treating phonotraumatic vocal pathologies: A cytokine study.

Author information

1
Division of Speech & Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
2
School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
3
Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
4
Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
5
Fred Tse's CM Clinic, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.
6
School of Chinese Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:

Acupuncture is a less-invasive procedure when compared with surgical treatment for benign vocal pathologies caused by vocal overuse. This study aimed to determine the wound-healing effect of acupuncture in treating phonotraumatic vocal fold lesions.

STUDY DESIGN:

Two-way, mixed-model, between- and within-subjects, prospective randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded group design.

METHODS:

Seventeen dysphonic individuals with vocal nodules were recruited from a university clinic in Hong Kong. Each participant was randomly assigned to receive one session of either genuine or sham acupuncture. The genuine acupuncture group (n = 9) received needles puncturing nine voice-related acupoints for 30 minutes, whereas the sham acupuncture group (n = 8) received blunted needles stimulating the skin surface of the nine acupoints for the same frequency and duration. Laryngeal secretions were suctioned from the surface of the vocal folds immediately before, immediately after, and 24 hours after the acupuncture. The protein concentration levels of wound-healing-related cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1β and IL-10) in these secretion samples were measured.

RESULTS:

Following acupuncture, a significant increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was found in the genuine acupuncture group (n = 9) but not in the sham acupuncture group (n = 8).

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings showed that acupuncture of voice-related acupoints facilitated an anti-inflammatory process in phonotraumatic vocal pathologies. This could be considered as supporting evidence to consider acupuncture as a less-invasive alternative option, when compared to surgery, for treating phonotraumatic vocal pathologies.

KEYWORDS:

Voice problems; alternative treatment; anti-inflammatory effect of acupuncture; cytokine study; laryngology; voice therapy

PMID:
26227080
PMCID:
PMC4715648
DOI:
10.1002/lary.25483
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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