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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 315982, 6 pages
Research Article

Heart Rate Variability and Hemodynamic Change in the Superior Mesenteric Artery by Acupuncture Stimulation of Lower Limb Points: A Randomized Crossover Trial

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
2Comprehensive Education Center for Community Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba Ward, Sendai-shi 980-8573, Japan
3Department of Geriatric Behavioral Neurology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
4Department of Education and Support for Community Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Japan

Received 14 September 2013; Accepted 27 October 2013

Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher

Copyright © 2013 Soichiro Kaneko 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.


Objective. We investigated the relationship between superior mesenteric artery blood flow volume (SMA BFV) and autonomic nerve activity in acupuncture stimulation of lower limb points through heart rate variability (HRV) evaluations. Methods. Twenty-six healthy volunteers underwent crossover applications of bilateral manual acupuncture stimulation at ST36 or LR3 or no stimulation. Heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac index, systemic vascular resistance index, SMA BFV, and HRV at rest and 30 min after the intervention were analyzed. Results. SMA BFV showed a significant increase after ST36 stimulation (0% to 14.1% ± 23.4%, ); very low frequency (VLF), high frequency (HF), low frequency (LF), and LF/HF were significantly greater than those at rest (0% to 479.4% ± 1185.6%, ; 0% to 78.9% ± 197.6%, ; 0% to 123.9% ± 217.1%, ; 0% to 71.5% ± 171.1%, ). Changes in HF and LF also differed significantly from those resulting from LR3 stimulation (HF: 78.9% ± 197.6% versus −18.2% ± 35.8%, ; LF: 123.9% ± 217.1% versus 10.6% ± 70.6%, ). Conclusion. Increased vagus nerve activity after ST36 stimulation resulted in increased SMA BFV. This partly explains the mechanism of acupuncture-induced BFV changes.