Chin J Integr Med. 2014 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Effects of acupuncture on progesterone and prolactin in rats of embryo implantation dysfunction.
Xiong F1, Gui J, Yang W, Li J, Huang GY.
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Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To investigate the effect of acupuncture on progesterone (P4) and prolactin (PRL) in rats of embryo implantation dysfunction (EID).
METHODS:
On the first day of pregnancy, 72 female Wistar rats were randomly allocated into the normal group, the EID model group, the acupuncture group and the P4 group (18 in each group). The normal group was injected sesame oil, while the other three groups were given mifepristone to establish the EID model. The acupuncture group and the P4 group were given treatment of acupuncture and P4 injection, respectively. The serum of P4 and PRL were detected by radioimmunoassay, and the mRNA and protein expressions of P4 receptor (PR) and PRL receptor (PRLR) were detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical method, respectively.
RESULTS:
Compared with the normal group, the serum levels of P4 and PRL as well as the mRNA and protein expression levels of PR and PRLR in the EID model group were significantly lowered (P <0.01 or P<0.05). The above indices in the acupuncture group and the P4 group were significantly elevated compared with the EID model group (P<0.01 or P<0.05).
CONCLUSION:
Acupuncture can promote embryo implantation effectively, which might be related to the effects of acupuncture on upregulating the P4 and PRL levels in serum and the PR and PRLR expression levels in rats.
PMID: 24802234 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]




Acupunct Med. 2014 May 7. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010509. [Epub ahead of print]
Wet needling of myofascial trigger points in abdominal muscles for treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea.
Huang QM1, Liu L.
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
To evaluate the effect of wet needling (related to acupuncture) and home stretching exercises on myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in abdominal muscles for the treatment of dysmenorrhoea.
METHODS:
The effect of wet needing of MTrPs in abdominal muscles, supplemented by home stretching exercises, was observed in 65 patients with moderate and severe primary dysmenorrhoea. The MTrPs in the abdominal region were localised and repeatedly needled with lidocaine injection. Menstrual pain was evaluated with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score after every treatment, with the final evaluation made at a 1-year follow-up. Treatment was stopped when the VAS pain score reduced to ≤3. Symptoms scores were analysed with one-way analysis of variance.
RESULTS:
The mean VAS pain score before treatment was 7.49±1.16. After a single wet needling session, 41 patients had a reduction in their VAS pain score to <3 during their following menstrual cycle, with a mean of 1.63±0.49. Twenty-four patients who needed two treatments showed a reduction in menstrual pain scores to 0.58±0.50. After 1 year, the mean VAS pain score among all patients was 0.28±0.45, with a response rate of 100%.
CONCLUSIONS:
Primary dysmenorrhoea was significantly reduced 1 year after wet needling to MTrPs in the abdominal region and home stretching exercises, justifying further research with controlled trials.




Acupunct Med. 2015 Feb 10. pii: acupmed-2014-010696. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2014-010696. [Epub ahead of print]
Cost effectiveness of using moxibustion to correct non-vertex presentation.
García-Mochón L1, Martín JJ2, Aranda-Regules JM3, Rivas-Ruiz F4, Vas J5.
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Abstract
AIMS:
To analyse the cost effectiveness of using the moxibustion technique to correct non-vertex presentation and to reduce the number of caesarean sections performed at term.
METHOD:
A deterministic model of decision analysis has been developed to analyse the cost of treatment in which heat is applied by moxibustion (the combustion of Artemisia vulgaris) at acupuncture point BL67 for pregnant women with non-vertex fetal position at 33-35 weeks' gestation. This approach was compared with conventional treatment recommendations based on the knee-chest posture technique. The costs were obtained mainly from data provided by the Andalusian Public Health System. Effectiveness data for the baseline analysis were taken from a previous clinical study. A secondary analysis was performed based on a meta-analysis conducted using random effects analysis, by reference to studies published in recent systematic reviews of moxibustion versus conventional treatment, in order to make the results generalisable to other healthcare settings. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed under diverse assumptions to assess the uncertainty of the result.
RESULTS:
The baseline analysis shows that the application of moxibustion prevents 8.92% of deliveries with non-vertex presentation compared with conventional treatment, with an average cost saving of €107.11 per delivery, mainly due to the cost saving from avoiding the need for caesarean section. The meta-analysis revealed a relative risk of the version of non-vertex presentation at term of 0.34 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.76). The sensitivity analysis showed that moxibustion can avoid 0.34 caesarean sections, with an incremental cost per delivery ranging from €68 to -€640 for moxibustion versus conventional treatment.
CONCLUSIONS:
Moxibustion treatment applied at acupuncture point BL67 can avoid the need for caesarean section and achieve cost savings for the healthcare system in comparison with conventional treatment.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.



Brain Inj. 2015;29(3):396-402.
The role of glutamate transporter-1 in the acquisition of brain ischaemic tolerance in rats induced by electro-acupuncture pre-treatment.
Guo Z1, Zhang L, Wu Y, Li M, Yang X, He Z, Wu Z, Hu Y, Jia J.
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Abstract
Abstract Objective: To investigate whether electro-acupuncture can serve as a method of inducing brain ischaemic tolerance (BIT) by encouraging the expression of glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1) and suppressing the release of glutamate (Glu). Methods: Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into sham, ischaemia and EA groups. EA was performed on dazhui and baihui acupoints and the rat cerebral ischaemia model was achieved by occluding the middle cerebral artery (MCA) for 2 hours, followed by reperfusion. Dialysate was collected from the striatum in vivo to detect the concentration of Glu and the expression of Glutamate Transporter-1 (GLT-1) was examined. The changes of neurological deficit scores were evaluated at 24 hours after reperfusion, while the infarct volumes of brains were then measured with 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining. Results: Compared with the ischaemia group, the concentration of Glu decreased and the expression of GLT-1 increased at most of the detective time points in the EA group; the neurological deficit scores were lower and the infarct volumes were smaller in the EA group. Conclusion: EA can up-regulate the expression of GLT-1 and inhibit the excessive release of Glu in the striatum in the process of subsequent ischaemic-reperfusion brain injury, which may be one of the mechanisms of inducing BIT and, thus, be neuroprotective for early ischaemic brain injury.



Med Acupunct. 2015 Feb 1;27(1):10-13.
Third Stage of Labor and Acupuncture.
Djakovic I1, Djakovic Z2, Bilić N3, Košec V1.
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Abstract
Background: Acupuncture use in obstetrics has been increasing in Western medicine, especially to alleviate complications of pregnancy, the most important cause of maternal mortality worldwide. One quarter of maternal deaths are caused by complications in the third stage of labor, an interval between complete delivery of the baby and the complete expulsion of the placenta. Methods: This review analyzes the increased acupuncture use for pregnancy complications as a potential method of reducting maternal mortality during the third stage of labor. This overview focuses on acupuncture points and techniques to manage the third stage of labor and help patients with retained placentas. Passive (or expectant) management of the third stage of labor is occasionally associated with massive obstetric hemorrhage, a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, especially in low-income countries. Conclusions: Active management of the third stage of labor has been shown to reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage. Use of acupuncture in the first and second stages of labor could lead to a faster separation of the placenta in the third stage of labor. The possible effects of acupuncture in cases of retained placentas may have significant implications for possible complications and final outcomes of labor. Further studies are needed for more conclusive results.


Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Oct 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Psychotherapy With Somatosensory Stimulation for Endometriosis-Associated Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Meissner K1, Schweizer-Arau A, Limmer A, Preibisch C, Popovici RM, Lange I, de Oriol B, Beissner F.
Author information


Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate whether psychotherapy with somatosensory stimulation is effective for the treatment of pain and quality of life in patients with endometriosis-related pain.
METHODS:
Patients with a history of endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain were randomized to either psychotherapy with somatosensory stimulation (ie, different techniques of acupuncture point stimulation) or wait-list control for 3 months, after which all patients were treated. The primary outcome was brain connectivity assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Prespecified secondary outcomes included pain on 11-point numeric rating scales (maximal and average global pain, pelvic pain, dyschezia, and dyspareunia) and physical and mental quality of life. A sample size of 30 per group was planned to compare outcomes in the treatment group and the wait-list control group.
RESULTS:
From March 2010 through March 2012, 67 women (mean age 35.6 years) were randomly allocated to intervention (n=35) or wait-list control (n=32). In comparison with wait-list controls, treated patients showed improvements after 3 months in maximal global pain (mean group difference -2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] -3.4 to -0.8; P=.002), average global pain (-2.5, 95% CI -3.5 to -1.4; P<.001), pelvic pain (-1.4, 95% CI -2.7 to -0.1; P=.036), dyschezia (-3.5, 95% CI -5.8 to -1.3; P=.003), physical quality of life (3.8, 95% CI 0.5-7.1, P=.026), and mental quality of life (5.9, 95% CI 0.6-11.3; P=.031); dyspareunia improved nonsignificantly (-1.8, 95% CI -4.4 to 0.7; P=.150). Improvements in the intervention group remained stable at 6 and 24 months, and control patients showed comparable symptom relief after delayed intervention.
CONCLUSION:
Psychotherapy with somatosensory stimulation reduced global pain, pelvic pain, and dyschezia and improved quality of life in patients with endometriosis. After 6 and 24 months, when all patients were treated, both groups showed stable improvements.



Acupunct Med. 2016 Dec;34(6):416-424. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2016-011110. Epub 2016 Nov 14.
Treating primary dysmenorrhoea with acupuncture: a narrative review of the relationship between acupuncture 'dose' and menstrual pain outcomes.
Armour M1, Smith CA1.
Author information


Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
A number of randomised controlled trials have been performed to determine the effectiveness or efficacy of acupuncture in primary dysmenorrhoea. The objective of this review was to explore the relationship between the 'dose' of the acupuncture intervention and menstrual pain outcomes.
METHODS:
Eight databases were systematically searched for trials examining penetrating body acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhoea published in English up to September 2015. Dose components for each trial were extracted, assessed by the two authors and categorised by neurophysiological dose (number of needles, retention time and mode of stimulation), cumulative dose (total number and frequency of treatments), needle location and treatment timing.
RESULTS:
Eleven trials were included. Components of acupuncture dose were well reported across all trials. The relationship between needle location and menstrual pain demonstrated conflicting results. Treatment before the menses appeared to produce greater reductions in pain than treatment starting at the onset of menses. A single needle during menses may provide greater pain reduction compared to multiple needles. Conversely, multiple needles before menses were superior to a single needle. Electroacupuncture may provide more rapid pain reduction compared to manual acupuncture but may not have a significantly different effect on overall menstrual pain.
CONCLUSIONS:
There appear to be relationships between treatment timing and mode of needle stimulation, and menstrual pain outcomes. Needle location, number of needles used and frequency of treatment show clear dose-response relationships with menstrual pain outcomes. Current research is insufficient to make definitive clinical recommendations regarding optimum dose parameters for treating primary dysmenorrhoea.