To determine in a pilot study whether acupuncture improved pain, voiding symptoms,
and the quality of life of men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Men diagnosed with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (National Institutes
of Health [NIH] criteria) who were refractory to standard therapy (antibiotics, alpha-blockers,
anti-inflammatories, phytotherapy) were referred for acupuncture therapy. The treatment
protocol involved three sets of acupuncture points totaling 30 points (8 points were
electrically stimulated) given alternatively twice weekly for 6 weeks. The patients
completed the NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (CPSI) at baseline and the CPSI
and subjective global assessment at 6 weeks (end of treatment), 12 weeks, and at least
6 months after the baseline assessment.
Twelve men underwent a minimum of 6 weeks of acupuncture treatment. The average follow-up
(from baseline) was 33 weeks (range 24 to 52). A significant decrease occurred in
total NIH-CPSI (28.2 to 8.5), NIH-CPSI pain (14.1 to 4.8), NIH-CPSI urinary (5.2 to
1.3), and NIH-CPSI quality-of-life (8.8 to 2.3) scores after an average of 33 weeks
of follow-up. Ten patients (83%) had a sustained greater than 50% decrease in NIH-CPSI
at final visit (average 33 weeks). Ten patients (83%) reported marked improvement
on the subjective global assessment at 12 weeks. At an average of 33 weeks, 8 patients
(67%) had sustained marked improvement on subjective global assessment evaluation.
No adverse events were reported in this pilot study.
Acupuncture appears to be a safe, effective, and durable treatment in improving symptoms
in, and the quality of life of, men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome
refractory to treatment. A larger controlled study is required to confirm these encouraging