M. Tucciarone, S. Taliente, R. Gómez-Blasi Camacho, R. Souviron Encabo, R. González-Orús Álvarez-Morujo

Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain

Keywords: Acupuncture, Complication, Pyomyositis, Abscess


Introduction: Severe infectious diseases that require surgery after acupuncture therapy are quite rare. There are only a few cases of pyomyositis following acupuncture reported in the literature. This paper presents a case of cervical pyomyositis developed after such treatment.

Case presentation: A 36-year-old man presented with swelling and pain in the posterior cervical region as well as high fever and torticollis, after having received three sessions of acupuncture therapy during the preceding weeks aimed to treat his neck stiffness. Ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) and contrast-enhanced Computed Tomography (CT) were performed, which showed a large abscess along the paraspinal muscles. The symptoms were resolved after surgical treatment and antibiotherapy.

Conclusion: Although highly infrequent, pyomyositis is a probable complication of acupuncture. In order to minimise the risk of complications, strict hygenic precautions and knowledge of the human anatomy are mandatory to decrease the rate of complications of acupuncture.