Changes in SPECT cerebral blood flow following Japanese style, superficial acupuncture at LI-4 and LI-11 in healthy volunteers.
Jung, WS; Park, SU; Park, JM; Kim, DY; Hong, IK; An, YS; Moon, SK
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 17(4):357-362, 2011
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)
OBJECTIVES: Japanese style, superficial acupuncture (SA) has been clinically evaluated for its therapeutic benefit, yet the neurophysiologic responses associated with SA remain unclear. This study was performed to measure changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) following SA at LI-4 and LI-11 in healthy volunteers using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Changes in SPECT activity following Japanese style SA were compared to previous reports of SPECT changes following electroacupuncture (EA) at the same acupoints.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Ten (10) healthy volunteers were enrolled for this study. A few days after the baseline brain SPECT, SA was performed at LI-4 and LI-11 for 15 minutes and a second brain perfusion image was acquired for each subject. We used SPM2 to analyze the changes in rCBF after SA through a paired t test. In addition, the differences of rCBF changes between SA and EA were compared using a two-sample t test.
RESULTS: Cerebral blood perfusion significantly increased after SA in the left superior frontal gyrus, left middle cingulum, left insular, right medial orbital frontal gyrus, and right middle cingulum (paired t test, uncorrected p < 0.005), while no regions showed a significant decrease. The results comparing poststimulation images between SA and EA demonstrated that the perfusion in the right lingual, both thalamus, left middle temporal gyrus, left insula, and both cerebellum were significantly increased in SA compared with EA (false discovery rate [FDR] corrected p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: There were specific increase patterns of rCBF following SA at LI-4 and LI-11, which were similar to those following EA. However, there were significant differences in the decrease pattern of rCBF between SA and EA, which might be due to the difference of the strength of acupuncture stimulation between the two methods. These results may contribute to developing a better strategy to a select stimulation method in acupuncture therapy.
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