TABLE 1

Serious/Moderate AEs in Studies of Needle Acupuncture

Authors and LocationIndication for TreatmentAENo. of Events per Group (Treatment or Comparator)Age, yGenderPractitionerAssociation to TreatmentOutcome
Serious AEs
    RCTs
        Somri et al43 (2001), IsraelEmesis related to dental anesthesiaHospitalization for emesis (overnight)1/30 acupuncture, 1/30 drug, 2/30 placeboNRNRMD licensed in TCMUnlikelyResolved
    Case reports
        Ou et al30 (1989), ChinaNRThumb adduction deformity127.5 (mean), 3–11 (range)4 male, 8 femaleNRPossibleResolved after surgery
        Vittecoq et al31 (1989), FranceTendonitisHIV infection117MaleNRPossibleOngoing
        Lau et al32 (1998), TaiwanMild pain in right buttockSeptic sacroiliitis114FemaleNRPossibleResolved after antibiotics and hospitalization
        Ishibe et al33 (2001), JapanPain in lumbar spineSeptic arthritis of lumbar facet joint113MaleAcupuncturistPossibleResolved after antibiotics and hospitalization
        Petrie et al34 (2009), United StatesThoracic spinal painPyogenic spondylitis115MaleNRPossibleResolved after antibiotics
        Wu et al35 (2009), TaiwanNeurologic conditionPott's puffy tumor112FemaleAcupuncturistPossibleResolved after surgery and antibiotics
        Ye36 (1956), ChinaTuberculosis, heart diseaseCardiac rupture19MaleAcupuncturistCertainDeath
        Carette et al37 (1984), FranceAsthmaPneumothorax115FemaleAcupuncturistPossibleResolved
        Saski et al38 (1984), JapanTiredness, rapid heartbeat, constipationNerve impairment116 at treatment, 18 at diagnosis of AEMaleNRCertainImprovement after surgery
        Su et al39 (1985), ChinaLimited speech and hearing abilitiesSubarachnoid hemorrhage111FemaleAcupuncturistCertainResolved after hospitalization
        Liu et al40 (1992), ChinaDiarrheaIntestinal obstruction12MaleNRPossibleResolved after surgery
        Ke et al41 (2007), TaiwanEncephalopathyHemoptysis from aspirated needle115MaleNRCertainResolved after surgery
        Kirton et al42 (2008), CanadaMusculoskeletal painReversible coma115MaleAcupuncturistUnlikelyResolved after surgery
Moderate AEs
    Morgan44 (2008), United StatesWeight lossExternal ear infection116FemaleNRCertainResolved after drainage and antibiotics
  • MD indicates medical doctor; TCM, traditional Chinese medicine; NR, not reported.