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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 188-195

Advantages of anti-inflammatory acupuncture in treating sepsis of coronavirus disease 2019


1 International Institute of Systems Medicine Inc.; Ace Acupuncture Clinic of Milwaukee, LLC, Milwaukee, WI, Woodlands, Texas, USA
2 International Institute of Systems Medicine Inc.; The Woodlands Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic, Woodlands, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Guan-Yuan Jin
International Institute of Systems Medicine Inc., 8412 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53222
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/wjtcm.wjtcm_12_20

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Background: Sepsis is one of the most serious complications and a leading cause of death in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In general, it is the result of an unregulated inflammatory cascade such as a postinfection “cytokine storm.” The conventional treatment mainly relies on glucocorticoids, of which curative effects are not ideal, as they come with significant side effects. It is critical to seek or develop other effective therapeutics in dealing cytokine storm to fight COVID-19 with sepsis. Aims and Objectives: Raise awareness of the significance applying anti-inflammatory acupuncture in dealing COVID-19 patients with sepsis and provide an appropriate acupuncture protocol that can be easily integrated into existing medical guideline. Materials and Methods: Current evidences from animal experiments and clinical trials about acupuncture in treating infectious sepsis are reviewed, and a detailed discussion on advantages of anti-inflammatory acupuncture is followed, then the rationality on the point selection and stimulation parameters of acupuncture is analyzed to propose an appropriate acupuncture protocol. Results: Current experiments have shown that acupuncture can play a significant role to improve inflammation reaction and reduce mortality in infectious animal and patients with sepsis and its mechanisms are mainly achieved by stimulating the vagus-cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathways. Applying acupuncture in treating COVID-19 patients with sepsis has four aspects of advantages. Moreover, a simple and convenient clinical acupuncture protocol including point selection and appropriate stimulation parameters is proposed. Conclusion: Acupuncture, especially electroacupuncture, has shown potentials in effectively treating infectious sepsis of animal models and critically ill patients in small sample studies by stimulating the nervous system, but has been largely overlooked in the clinic so far. It is advised that acupuncture should be integrated into the existing medical guidelines in dealing with COVID-19 complicated with sepsis.


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