To explore the therapeutic effect and the mechanism of the adjuvant treatment with moxibustion on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A total of 95 patients with COVID-19 were randomly divided into a moxibustion group (45 cases) and a basic treatment group (50 cases). The routine treatment of western medicine was applied in the patients of both groups. In the moxibustion group, on the base of the treatment of western medicine, moxibustion was applied to Dazhui (GV 14), Feishu (BL 13), Qihai (CV 6) and Zusanli (ST 36), once daily and consecutively for 14 days. At the end of treatment courses, clinical symptom scores for cough, asthmatic breathing, chest oppression and short breath, as well as their remission rates were compared between the two groups before and after treatment. Before and after treatment, the white blood cell (WBC) count, the levels of c-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the absolute number of T lymphocyte subsets, i.e. , and of the peripheral blood were compared in the patients between the two groups. The principal component analysis was adopted to analyze the common data extracted from the above 10 clinical indexes variables and comprehensively evaluate the differences in the therapeutic effect of two regimens.
The clinical symptom scores were all decreased after treatment in both of the moxibustion group and the basic treatment group as compared with those before treatment (<0.05). After treatment, the clinical symptom scores of cough, chest oppression and asthmatic breathing in the moxibustion group were lower significantly than those in the basic treatment group (<0.05) and the remission rates of cough, chest oppression and asthmatic breathing were higher than the basic treatment group (<0.05). After treatment, WBC count was increased as compared with that before treatment in either group (<0.05) and the levels of CRP and IL-6 in the moxibustion group were reduced as compared with those before treatment (<0.05). The reducing range of IL-6 level in the moxibustion group was larger than the basic treatment group (<0.05). After treatment, the absolute number of , and T lymphocytes was increased as compared with that before treatment in the moxibustion group (<0.05), and its increase range was larger than the basic treatment group (<0.05). The difference value was 33.38 for the score of comprehensive evaluation before and after treatment in the moxbustion group, higher obviously than 8.91 in the basic treatment group.
On the base of the routine treatment with western medicine, moxibustion therapy supplemented relieves the clinical symptoms, reduces the levels of inflammatory indexes, i.e. IL-6 and CRP as well as improves the absolute number of peripheral T lymphocyte subsets. The clinical therapeutic effect of such regimen with moxibustion supplemented is significantly better than the simple routine treatment of western medicine.