Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet
Below please find summaries of new articles that will be published in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the full articles as a source of information. This information is under strict embargo and by taking it into possession, media representatives are committing to the terms of the embargo not only on their own behalf, but also on behalf of the organization they represent.
1. Acupuncture may offer limited relief to patients with chronic hives
URL goes live when the embargo lifts
A randomized controlled trial that included more than 300 people diagnosed with chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), or hives, found that acupuncture may offer limited relief from the condition, but clinical significance of this finding was unclear. The study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
CSU is the most common form of chronic hives and is characterized by recurrent itching, skin lesions, or swelling lasting more than 6 weeks in the absence of specific triggering factors. More than 90 percent of patients with CSU require urgent medical treatment to relieve itching; therefore, the management of itching is one of the main goals in the treatment of CSU.
Researchers from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine randomly assigned 330 persons diagnosed with CSU to receive either 4 weeks of acupuncture, 4 weeks of sham acupuncture, or a waitlist (control) and then followed the patients for 4 weeks after treatment to investigate whether acupuncture leads to improvement of CSU synptoms. Changes in symptoms were measured using the Weekly Urticaria Activity Score (UAS7). Patients in the acupuncture group reported improved UAS7, more than sham acupuncture or waitlist control. However, the differences between intervention and control did not meet the minimal clinical difference (MCID) threshold, so the clinical significance of the observed reductions in itch severity scores is uncertain. The rate of adverse events was highest in the acupuncture group, but events were mild and transient.
An accompanying editorial by Mike Cummings of the British Medical Acupuncture Society highlights that these trial results are interesting because they describe the efficacy of acupuncture in a condition that is not characterized by pain. While clinical significance of the findings was not clear, the author suggests that clinicians should stay open to the potential for adjunctive use of acupuncture to influence outcomes, even in more serious medical conditions. The editorial suggests that acupuncture is often overlooked as a therapy because it lacks the commercial backing of other modern interventions.
Media contacts: For an embargoed PDF, please contact Angela Collom at firstname.lastname@example.org. To speak with the corresponding author, Ying Li, MD, PhD, please contact email@example.com.
Also in this issue:
Impact of Clinical Demands on the Educational Mission in Hospital Medicine at 17 Academic Medical Centers
Academia and the Profession
Vishruti Patel, MD; Angela Keniston, PhD, MSPH; Lauren McBeth, BA; Sagarika Arogyaswamy, MD; Catherine Callister, MD; Khooshbu Dayton, MD; Neelam Mistry, MD; Sarah Mann, MA; and Marisha Burden, MD, MBA
Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention
In the Clinic
Amy H. Farkas, MD, MS; Ann B. Nattinger, MD, MPH
Annals of Internal Medicine
Method of Research
Subject of Research
Efficacy of Acupuncture for Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria
Article Publication Date