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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 2, Pages 169-176
Original Article

Acupuncture Effects on Cardiac Functions Measured by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in a Feline Model

1Department of Animal Science Technology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
2Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan
3Center for Optoelectronic Biomedicine, National Taiwan University Medical College, Taiwan
4Department of Traditional Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
5Institute of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan

Received 25 May 2007; Accepted 18 December 2007

Copyright © 2010 Jen-Hsou Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The usefulness of acupuncture (AP) as a complementary and/or alternative therapy in animals is well established but more research is needed on its clinical efficacy relative to conventional therapy, and on the underlying mechanisms of the effects of AP. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI), an important tool in monitoring cardiovascular diseases, provides a reliable method to monitor the effects of AP on the cardiovascular system. This controlled experiment monitored the effect electro-acupuncture (EA) at bilateral acupoint Neiguan (PC6) on recovery time after ketamine/xylazine cocktail anesthesia in healthy cats. The CMRI data established the basic feline cardiac function index (CFI), including cardiac output and major vessel velocity. To evaluate the effect of EA on the functions of the autonomic nervous and cardiovascular systems, heart rate, respiration rate, electrocardiogram and pulse rate were also measured. Ketamine/xylazine cocktail anesthesia caused a transient hypertension in the cats; EA inhibited this anesthetic-induced hypertension and shortened the post-anesthesia recovery time. Our data support existing knowledge on the cardiovascular benefits of EA at PC6, and also provide strong evidence for the combination of anesthesia and EA to shorten post-anesthesia recovery time and counter the negative effects of anesthetics on cardiac physiology.