A Chinese study has used ultrasound scanning to show that acupuncture at Jianjing GB-21 can regulate the volume of the gall bladder in cholecystitis patients and improve their symptoms. Sixty patients with chronic cholecystitis were randomised to receive needling at either Jianjing GB-21 or a non-acupoint. A colour Doppler ultrasound scanner was used to detect the volume of the gall bladder before needle insertion, 15 minutes after initial acupuncture stimulation and 30 minutes after withdrawal of the needle. Following verum acupuncture, the remission rates of shoulder/back pain and stomach ache in the acupoint and non-acupoint groups were found to be 90.0% and 56.7% respectively. Gastric distention and nausea likewise decreased more in the acupuncture group than in the non-acupoint group (by 23.3% versus 16.7%). Ultrasound scans showed that needling Jianjing GB-21 (but not the non-acupoint) led to regulation of the size of the gall bladder. Those patients who initially had deflated gallbladders experienced an increase in gall bladder volume after needling, whereas those whose gallbladders had previously been expanded experienced a significant decrease in gallbladder size.
(Effects of acupuncture of Jianjing (GB 21) on gallbladder volume and symptoms of cholecystitis patients. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2012 Oct;37(5):398-402).