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Clinical Research

Acupuncture relieves symptoms in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a randomized, sham-controlled trial




There are multiple approaches to the management of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS); and lately the data suggesting the ability of acupuncture treatment to decrease pain, positively impact quality of life and potentially modulate inflammation has suggested it as a potential therapeutic option for men with CP/CPPS. We conducted this study to determine whether acupuncture is really an effective therapeutic modality for CP/CPPS in terms of >50% decrease in total National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) score from baseline compared with sham.


One hundred patients with CP/CPPS (category III B) in an outpatient urology clinic were randomized to receive acupuncture at either seven acupoints bilaterally or sham points adjacent to these points. NIH-CPSI was completed by each patient before and 6, 8, 16, 24 weeks after the treatment. Mean values of total CPSI score and subscores after the treatment and on follow-up following the treatment were compared.


Of the acupuncture participants, 92% were NIH-CPSI responders (>50% decrease in total NIH-CPSI score from baseline) compared with 48% of sham participants, 8 weeks after the end of the therapy. Both groups experienced significant decrease in CPSI subscores throughout the whole follow-up period; however, the decline remained significantly greater in the active acupuncture group as compared with the sham group.


Our results show that the use of acupuncture in treatment of men with CP/CPPS symptoms resulted in a significant decrease in total NIH-CPSI scores.

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Correspondence to S Sahin.

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Sahin, S., Bicer, M., Eren, G. et al. Acupuncture relieves symptoms in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a randomized, sham-controlled trial. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 18, 249–254 (2015).

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