Acupuncture Improves Blood Flow to Heart

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Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2013 Sep;33(9):1196-8.

[Treating coronary heart disease by acupuncture at neiguan (PC6) and xinahu (BL15): an efficacy assessment by SPECT].

[Article in Chinese]


Department of Nuclear Medicine, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Guangdong 518036, China.



To evaluate the clinical efficacy of acupuncture combined single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in treating coronary heart disease (CHD) and its effect on the myocardial ischemia/perfusion and the recovery of heart functions.


Totally fifty-nine patients with confirmed CHD were randomly assigned to two groups, the acupuncture group (32 cases) and the nitroglycerine group (27 cases). Patients in the acupuncture group were electro-acupunctured at bilateral Neiguan (PC6) and Xinshu (BL15) for 30 min with the frequency of 2/15 Hz and the current strength 9 – 18 mA after myocardial imaging induced by routine exercises or drug load. 99mTc-MIBI 370 MBq was injected 15 min after needling. The myocardial perfusion imaging was performed immediately after needling. 99mTc-MIBI740 MBq was injected to those in the nitroglycerine group during routine exercises or drug load. The myocardial perfusion imaging was performed 5 min after injection. Patients were asked to sublingual administration of nitroglycerine 1 mg after the myocardial perfusion imaging was completed. 99mTc-MIBI 370 MBq was intravenously injected 5 min later, and myocardial perfusion imaging was performed 5 min after injection.


There was statistical difference in changes of radioactive uptake between before and after treatment in the two groups (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). Both acupuncture and buccal administration of nitroglycerine could increase the blood perfusion of ischemic myocardium. But there was no statistical difference in the improvement of ischemic myocardial cells (t = 1.57, P > 0.05).


Using SPECT could clearly display therapeutic effects of acupuncture on CHD, thus providing a new visible research method for CHD studies.





[PubMed – in process]

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