Proven in Other Diseases
Thank you very much for picking up on a topic from the field of traditional European medicine (TEM), or naturopathy, in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (1).
The article only describes hypotheses of the mechanism of action. Recent publications—also from German universities—are available concerning the mechanisms of action (2); additionally, there is an extensive historical literature.
I had to smile at the fact that blinding the trial was discussed for leech therapy.
Leeches have been proven useful in a number of other indications (arthritis–especially gonarthrosis, rhizarthrosis, inflammatory swellings, epicondylitis, hematomas, boils, thromboses, phlebitis, and tinnitus), and it would be nice if this could be confirmed by further studies. Side effects include itching, skin bleeding, and prolonged secondary bleeding (3). Based on my experience, numerous interventions of the musculoskeletal system could be avoided.
Dr. med. Wolfgang May
Specialist physician for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Conflict of interest statement
The author declares that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Hohmann CD, Stange R, Steckhan N, Robens S, Ostermann T, Paetow A, Michalsen A: The effectiveness of leech therapy in chronic low back pain—a randomized controlled trial. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2018; 115: 785–92 VOLLTEXT|
|2.||Melchard D, Brenke R, Dobos G, Gaisbauer M, Saller R (eds.): Naturheilverfahren, Leitfaden für die ärztliche Aus-, Fort- und Weiterbildung. Stuttgart: Schattauer 2002.|
|3.||Aurich M, Koeppen D: Eine Anwenderumfrage zur Blutegeltherapie – Auswertung von 171 Falldokumentationen. ZKM 2009; 5: 12–8 CrossRef|