Research article examining the use of acupuncture to prevent PPOI published

A research article to be published on January 7 , 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. In this prospective randomized clinical trial, the authors examined if acupuncture could prevent prolonged postoperative ileus (PPOI) after intraperitoneal surgery among patients with colon cancer in Shanghai, China. Acupuncture did not prevent PPOI in this population. Subset analyses in patients who developed PPOI also suggested acupuncture was not useful in this setting to treat PPOI once it developed.

The study was part of a unique collaboration between researchers in the United States at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and China at the Fudan University Cancer Hospital in Shanghai. Only one previous randomized trial, conducted in the United States, has examined the use of acupuncture to prevent PPOI in cancer patients. According to Meng and colleagues, standard postoperative care is very different in China than in the United States, and some of these treatment differences could play an important role in postoperative gastrointestinal motility and development of complications such as prolonged ileus. The authors state that future studies examining the use of acupuncture to prevent or treat PPOI should include assessment of activity, diet, and postoperative medication for pain control.

Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology

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