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Acupuncture and Post-Operative Ileus

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00655317
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 9, 2008
Last Update Posted : March 14, 2011
Information provided by:
Mayo Clinic

Brief Summary:
Postoperative ileus, the transient cessation of normal bowel function, is a universal aspect of colon surgery. Its occurrence may lead to increased patient discomfort and additional time and cost to hospital stay. Evidence from previous studies indicate that acupuncture may be beneficial in decreasing time to recovery of bowel function and decrease the body's inflammatory response. However, this has not been studied in a randomized, prospective fashion in colon surgery. The goal of this study is to determine if acupuncture may be utilized as a therapeutic modality to decrease time to return of bowel function and discharge from the hospital.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Ileus Other: Acupuncture Other: Sham acupuncture Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

The pathogenesis of post-operative ileus is not completely known. It is thought that post-operative ileus involves trauma to the bowel. This traumatizing of the intestine and peritoneal surfaces results in production and release of inflammatory mediators. These in turn, lead to inactivation of inhibitory neural reflexes. There is also an additive effect of opioids used for post-operative pain, aggravating and adding to the duration of post-operative ileus. Acupuncture has shown promise in both human and animal model studies to reduce post-operative nausea and vomiting and post-operative ileus. It is the investigator's hypothesis that acupuncture will minimize or reduce both post-operative ileus and nausea following elective colon surgery and will lead to a decrease in inflammatory markers that are known to be elevated following abdominal surgery.

The study goals are to determine if acupuncture:

  • Leads to earlier return of bowel function
  • Leads to earlier time to discharge following colon surgery
  • Leads to earlier return of colonic motility
  • Leads to decreased postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Leads to a decrease in inflammation

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 107 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Acupuncture and Post-Operative Ileus: A Prospective Randomized Study to Evaluate the Effects of Electrostimulated Acupuncture on Recovery From Ileus Following Standard Elective Colon Surgery
Study Start Date : August 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Acupuncture

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: 1
Treatment Acupuncture Group (Therapeutic Acupuncture Treatment): treatment with actual acupuncture needles
Other: Acupuncture
Treatment acupuncture group: therapeutic acupuncture treatment with actual needles

Sham Comparator: 2
SHAM (control) acupuncture group: non-therapeutic acupuncture treatment
Other: Sham acupuncture
SHAM (control) acupuncture group: non-therapeutic acupuncture treatment

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Determine if acupuncture leads to earlier return of bowel function and earlier time to discharge following colon surgery. [ Time Frame: Randomized acupuncture will be performed within 24 hours of completion of standard elective colon surgery ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Acupuncture will lead to decreased time to return of colonic motility, as measured by earlier progression of radiological markers through the colon [ Time Frame: radiological markers will be given preoperatively and then will be tracked via abdominal x-rays postoperatively ]
  2. Acupuncture will lead to decreased postoperative nausea and vomiting, resulting in less requirement of antiemetic medication [ Time Frame: number of doses of antiemetic meds and number of episodes of vomiting and nausea will be recorded postoperatively ]
  3. Acupuncture will blunt the inflammatory response, which is associated with development of postoperative ileus [ Time Frame: serum inflammatory markers will be measured preoperatively and postoperatively ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 89 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • male or female
  • age 18-89
  • colorectal pathology requiring standard elective open or laparoscopic colectomy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • pregnancy
  • pacemaker or implantable electronic devices
  • bowel obstruction
  • intra-abdominal abscess or sepsis
  • colorectal tumors invading other organs or surrounding tissues
  • diverticulitis complicated by fistula
  • known immunodeficiency disorders
  • tumors requiring an anastomosis below 7cm above the anal verge as measured by rigid proctosigmoidoscope exam at surgery
  • chronic pain medications
  • surgeries requiring temporary or permanent ostomies
  • emergent operations
  • receiving preoperative radiation/chemotherapy
  • major deformities of the upper or lower extremities and/or any active skin lesions or ulcers in acupunctural treatment areas

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00655317

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United States, Florida
Mayo Clinic
Jacksonville, Florida, United States, 32224
United States, Minnesota
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota, United States, 55905
Sponsors and Collaborators
Mayo Clinic
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Principal Investigator: Philip P. Metzger, M.D. Mayo Clinic
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Philip P. Metzger, M.D., Mayo Clinic Identifier: NCT00655317    
Other Study ID Numbers: 06-009410
First Posted: April 9, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 14, 2011
Last Verified: March 2011
Keywords provided by Mayo Clinic:
colon surgery
post operative ileus
post ileus
colorectal pathology
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Intestinal Obstruction
Intestinal Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Digestive System Diseases