Haemodynamic changes in the superior mesenteric artery induced by acupuncture stimulation on the lower limbs

Masashi Watanabe, Shin Takayama, Yoshiko Yamamoto, Satoru Nagase, Takashi Seki, Nobuo Yaegashi

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Acupuncture is commonly performed on acupoints. A comparison of quantitative physiological alterations induced by stimulation on different acupoints has never been performed in the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) in humans. Therefore, we investigated changes in blood flow volume (BFV) in the SMA as an indicator of physiological effects induced by stimulation on 3 points. Thirty healthy participants aged 29±10 years (mean±SD) were enrolled. All participants underwent stimulations on 3 points located in the lower legs: ST36, LR3, and a non-acupoint. Control pertains to a condition with no-stimulation. Stimulation was performed bilaterally with manual rotation of the needles. BFV was measured by ultrasonography before insertion and 10, 20, 30, and 60 minutes after stimulation. Following acupuncture on ST36, BFV increased significantly 20 and 30 minutes after stimulation, compared to BFV before insertion (P<0.05). Following stimulation on LR3 and the non-acupoint, no significant differences in BFV could be found. Relative to the no-stimulation group, stimulation on LR3, and the non-acupoint, stimulation on ST36 elicited a significant increase in BFV (P<0.05). The results suggest that stimulation on the different points causes distinct physiological effects in BFV in the SMA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number908546
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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