Postprandial distress syndrome (PDS) is the most common subtype of functional dyspepsia. Acupuncture is commonly used to treat PDS, but its effect is uncertain because of the poor quality of prior studies..
Among the 278 randomly assigned participants, 228 (82%) completed outcome measurements at week 16. The estimated response rate from generalized linear mixed models at week 4 was 83.0% in the acupuncture group versus 51.6% in the sham acupuncture group (difference, 31.4 percentage points [95% CI, 20.3 to 42.5 percentage points]; P < 0.001). The estimated elimination rate of all 3 cardinal symptoms was 27.8% in the acupuncture group versus 17.3% in the sham acupuncture group (difference, 10.5 percentage points [CI, 0.08 to 20.9 percentage points]; P = 0.034). The efficacy of acupuncture was maintained during the 12-week posttreatment follow-up. There were no serious adverse events.
Lack of objective outcomes and daily measurement, high dropout rate, and inability to blind acupuncturists.
Among patients with PDS, acupuncture resulted in increased response rate and elimination rate of all 3 cardinal symptoms compared with sham acupuncture, with sustained efficacy over 12 weeks in patients who received thrice-weekly acupuncture for 4 weeks.