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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The timing of acupuncture stimulation does not influence anesthetic requirement.

Studies suggest that acupuncture is more effective when induced before the induction of general anesthesia than afterwards. We tested the hypothesis that electro-acupuncture initiated 30 min before the induction reduces anesthetic requirement more than acupuncture initiated after the induction. Seven volunteers were each anesthetized with desflurane on 3 study days. Needles were inserted percutaneously at four acupuncture points thought to produce analgesia in the upper abdominal area and provide generalized sedative and analgesic effects: Zusanli (St36), Sanyinjiao (Sp6), Liangqiu (Sp34), and Hegu (LI4). Needles were stimulated at 2 Hz and 10 Hz, with frequencies alternating at 2-s intervals. On Preinduction day, electro-acupuncture was started 30 min before the induction of anesthesia and maintained throughout the study. On At-induction day, needles were positioned before the induction of anesthesia, but electro-acupuncture stimulation was not initiated until after the induction. On Control day, electrodes were positioned near the acupoints, but needles were not inserted. Noxious electrical stimulation was administered via 25-gauge needles on the upper abdomen (70 mA; 100 Hz; 10 s). The desflurane concentration was increased 0.5% when movement occurred and decreased 0.5% when it did not. These up-and-down sequences continued until volunteers crossed from movement to no movement four times. The P(50) of logistic regression identified desflurane requirement. Desflurane requirement was similar on the Control (mean +/- sd; 5.2% +/- 0.6%), Preinduction (5.0% +/- 0.8%), and At-induction (4.7% +/- 0.3%; P = 0.125) days. This type of acupuncture is thus unlikely to facilitate general anesthesia or decrease the requirement for anesthetic drugs.[1]


  1. The timing of acupuncture stimulation does not influence anesthetic requirement. Chernyak, G., Sengupta, P., Lenhardt, R., Liem, E., Doufas, A.G., Sessler, D.I., Akça, O. Anesth. Analg. (2005) [Pubmed]
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