Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals
Open Access

ISSN: 1948-5964


Possible Mechanisms Underlying Epipharyngeal Abrasive Therapy (EAT) with ZnCl2 Solution for the Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases and Functional Somatic Syndrome

Osamu Hotta, Chiyoko N Inoue, Ayaki Tanaka and Norio Ieiri

Chronic epipharyngitis is a common latent but serious condition that may contribute to a wide range of diseases in humans, including collagen diseases, glomerulonephritis and autonomic nervous disorders. In a previous study, we presented a putative causal role of chronic epipharyngitis in the development of functional somatic symptoms and syndromes following human papillomavirus vaccination by demonstrating a significant improvement in symptoms following abrasive therapy using ZnCl2 on the epipharynx. Since this initial study, we have expanded our clinical experience, providing epipharyngeal abrasive therapy to 988 patients with confirmed chronic epipharyngitis associated with a wide variety of clinical symptoms. These symptoms could be classified into three broad categories, namely local inflammation-referred, autoimmune-related, and neuroendocrine symptoms. Symptom alleviation was achieved in the majority of patients with repeated epipharyngeal abrasive therapy.
Through an in-depth review of the literature on epipharyngeal abrasive therapy, combined with our clinical experience, we propose three mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of epipharyngeal abrasive therapy: the astringent anti-inflammatory effect of ZnCl2, a blood-letting effect that promotes removal of epipharyngeal activated lymphocytes and drainage of excess inflammatory fluids containing various antigens, cytokines or noxious substances, and a neuromodulation effect achieved through stimulation of the vagus nerve. These effects can be explained within the context of current understanding of immunology, lymphology and neuroscience.
Our hypothesis-driven review provides a theoretical basis for the observed therapeutic effects of epipharyngeal abrasive therapy in ameliorating various diseases, including functional somatic symptoms and syndromes following human papillomavirus vaccination.