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Zhang Chongfang, Xue Fulin

(Shanghai Institute of Acpunciure and Meridian)
He Zongde, Hou Shuying, Li Hong
(Department of Otoldryngology, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai
College of TCM)
The immediate and short-term effects of acupuncture and drug
treatment of acute attacks on Meniere's syndrome were studied
and compared. The patients were divided randomly into 2
The immediate effects of acupuncture therapy, including
improvement in symptoms, Romberg test and vertical writing
test were studied. As no immediate effects were observed after
drug therapy, comparison of the immediate effects of the 2
groups could not be made.
The short-term effects were estimated about 15 days after the
treatment. If symptoms recurred at that time, therapeutic
regime should be changed.
The points chosen were Fengchi, Taiyang, Baihui, Zusanii and
Taichong; Neiguan was added for vomiting, and Sanyinjiao for
sleep lessness. Needles were retained for 1/2 to one hour.
Stimulation was strengthened by thrusting, lifting and twisting
of the needles. Acupuncture was performed daily for 2-3 days,
and when improvement of symptoms appeared, it was
performed once every other day.
The drugs used in the drug therapy group were betahistidine 8
mg, nicotinic acid 25-50 mg, and pyridoxine 20 mg, each of
these was given thrice daily.
If no improvement appeared after one week, cinnarizine was
adopted instead, it was given thrice daily. 40 ml of 25 dextrose
and pyridoxine 100 mg were given intravenously in case of
nausea and vomiting.
The result of acupuncture therapy in 33 cases were
disappearance of symptoms in 26 cases, improvement in 1 case
and no substantial change in 6 cases. A hearing loss of 15 db
occurred in one of the 26 symptom-controlled patients was
considered a therapeutic failure. The result of drug therapy in
32 cases was disappearance of symptoms in 16 cases,
improvement in 2 cases and no change in the remaining 14
cases. In 5 of those who were transferred to drug therapy,
when they failed to respond to acupuncture therapy, no
improvement was obtained, while in 6 of those who were
transferred to acupuncture therapy, when they failed to respond
to drug therapy, 2 had their symptoms controlled, 1 improved
and 3 remained unchanged.

Of the 39 cases in the acupuncture group, 27 were freed from

symptoms, 2 improved and 10 failed to respond, the overall
effective rate being 74.4%. Of the 37 cases in the drug therapy
group, 16 had their symptoms controlled, 2 improved and 19
failed, the effective rate being 48.6%. The difference was
significant statistically (P<0.05).
With the exception of 1 case who failed to improve in vertigo
and 2 cases who failed to improve in nystagmus, all the other
36 cases treated with acupuncture improved immediately, with
decrease or disappearance of vertigo, nystagmus, nausea and
vomiting, and improvement in Romberg and vertical writing
tests. In 7 of the 8 cases with spontaneous nystagmus, angular
velocity decreased after acupuncture therapy. Most of the
patients did not experience prominent change in pure tone
audiograph after either therapy.