METHODS: Sixty patients with confirmed diagnosis of GER were randomly assigned to two groups. The 30 patients in the treatment group were treated with acupuncture at acupoints Zhongwan (CV 12), bilateral Zusanli (ST36), Sanyinjiao (SP6), and Neiguan (PC6), once a day, for 1 week as a therapeutic course, with interval of 2-3 days between courses; the 30 patients in the control group were administered orally with omeprazole 20 mg twice a day and 20 mg mosapride thrice a day. The treatment in both group lasted 6 weeks. Patients' symptoms and times of reflux attacking were recorded, the 24-h intraesophageal acid/bile reflux were monitored, and the endoscopic feature of esophageal mucous membrane was graded and scored at three time points, i.e., pre-treatment (T0), immediately after ending the treatment course (T1) and 4 weeks after it (T2). Besides, the adverse reactions were also observed.
RESULTS: Compared with those detected at T0, 24-h intraesophageal pH and bile reflux, endoscopic grading score and symptom score were all decreased significantly at T1 in both groups similarly (P<0.01), showing insignificant difference between groups (P>0.05). These indices were reversed at T2 to high level in the control group (P<0.05), but the reversion did not occur in the treatment group (P>0.05). No serious adverse reaction was found during the therapeutic period.
CONCLUSION: Acupuncture can effectively inhibit the intraesophageal acid and bile reflux in GER patients to alleviate patients' symptoms with good safety and is well accepted by patients.