Clinical Study on Acupuncture Treatment of Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (PAR) Based on Zelen’s Design

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Objective: Perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) is clinically defined as an inflammatory condition of the nose characterised by nasal obstruction, sneezing, itching, or rhinorrhea, occurring for an hour or more on most days throughout the year. The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for PAR.
Methods: 76 subjects were enrolled with inclusion criteria and randomly divided into the acupuncture group (AG) and drug group (DG) based on Zelen’s design. In AG, Yintang (EX-HN3), LI20 (bilateral), LI11 (left), LI4 (left), ST36 (bilateral) were selected as primary acupoints, and adjunct acupoints were added based on syndrome differentiation. Acupuncture treatment for four weeks was performed once every two days. In DG, Desloratadine Citrate Disodium tablet was administrated orally once every day for four weeks. The variations of total nasal symptom score (TNSS) and overall non-nasal symptom score (TNNSS) were tested within three days before, at Week-4 during, and at Week-4 (follow-up) after the treatment.
Results: Thirty-two subjects in the AG and 38 subjects in the DG completed the trial. The differences between TNSS and TNNSS scales in the same groups showed a statistical difference (P<0.05) before, during, and after the treatment. The statistic differences between TNSS and TNNSS in those two groups were not obtained (P>0.05) before and after the treatment. The differences in those two groups during the follow-up visit were statistically different (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Acupuncture could effectively control the nasal and systemic symptoms of PAR, and its effect was more persistent than the administration of Desloratadine Citrate Disodium.