Shandong Provincial Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan.

To observe the clinical effect of drug cupping therapy (DCT, cupping therapy with pingchuan ointment made by the authors themselves in the cups) on chronic asthmatic bronchitis (CAB) during the protracted period, and explore its effect on immune function. METHODS: Seventy-seven patients were randomly divided into two groups:the treated group (n=40) treated by orally taken Liuwei Dihuang Pill (LDP) and DCT and the control group (n=37) with LDP and common cupping therapy without drug in cups. The changes of T-lymphocyte subset, levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin (IL), immunoglobulin (Ig), complement 3 and 4 (C3 and C4) were detected before and after treatment. RESULTS: The total effective rate was higher in the treated group than that in the control group (90. % vs. 59.5%, P < .01). The levels of CD4+, CD4+/CD8+, IL-2, IFN-gamma, C3, C4, IgA, IgG and IgM increased, while the levels of IgE, IL-4, IL-10 and CD8+ decreased after treatment in both groups (P < .05 or P < .01), the improvements were better in the treated group than that in the control group (P < .05). CONCLUSION: DCT shows better curative effects than that of common cupping therapy without drug, it could improve the cellular and humoral immunity in CAB patients.