An adjunct intervention for management of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD)

Shirley P.C. Ngai, Alice Y.M. Jones, Christina W.Y. Hui-Chan, Fanny W.S. Ko, David S.C. Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


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, 10 mL of venous blood was taken from the cubital vein for assessment of β-endorphin level, white blood cell count, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), 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 β-endorphin level but the level of white blood cell count, TNF-α, 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-181
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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