Electroacupuncture relieves pain in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: three-arm randomized trial

Sang-Hun Lee, Byung-Cheol Lee
Urology 2009, 73 (5): 1036-41

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the clinical effect of electroacupuncture (EA) for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

METHODS: We recruited 63 participants meeting the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus criteria for CP/CPPS. After the inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied, 39 men were randomized to 3 treatment groups: group 1, advice and exercise plus 12 sessions of EA; group 2, advice and exercise plus 12 sessions of sham EA (SEA); and group 3, advice and exercise alone (A&E) for 6 weeks. A total of 6 acupuncture points were used to stimulate the sacral nerve and release the piriformis muscle using an electrical pulse generator. Symptoms related to CP/CPPS were assessed using the NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI). Prostaglandin E(2) and beta-endorphin levels in postmassage urine samples were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: At 6 weeks, the NIH-CPSI total score had decreased significantly in the EA group compared with the SEA and A&E groups (P < .001). On a subscale analysis of the NIH-CPSI, the EA group showed significant decreases in pain-related symptoms compared with the SEA and A&E groups (P < .01). All 12 EA participants experienced at least a 6-point decrease in the NIH-CPSI total score compared with 2 of 12 SEA participants (16.7%) and 3 of 12 A&E participants (25.0%; P < .0001). The mean prostaglandin E(2) level in the postmassage urine samples had significantly decreased in the EA group (P = .023). In contrast, it had increased in the other 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In a 3-arm randomized trial investigating the clinical effects of EA on CP/CPPS, EA therapy proved to have independent therapeutic effects, particularly for pain relief superior to SEA or A&E therapy.

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