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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 538350, 5 pages
Review Article

The Primo Vascular Structures Alongside Nervous System: Its Discovery and Functional Limitation

1Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 700-412, Republic of Korea
2Department of Quality Control, Koatech, Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do 451-864, Republic of Korea
3Department of Physiology, College of Korean Medicine, Daegu Haany University, Daegu 706-060, Republic of Korea

Received 9 January 2013; Revised 8 March 2013; Accepted 15 March 2013

Academic Editor: Xianghong Jing

Copyright © 2013 Eun-sung Park 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 primo vascular structures comprising primo nodes and vessels (originally called Bonghan corpuscles and ducts, resp.) have recently been suggested to be the anatomical correlate of acupuncture, a therapeutic technique used in oriental medicine. Although the primo vascular structures have been observed in many parts of animals, including the nervous system, using anatomical methodologies, its physiological functions are still unclear. This paper summarizes the reports on the primo vascular structures, particularly in the nervous system and its surroundings, as well as the electrophysiological properties of cells in the primo nodes. In addition, recent reports examining the potential roles of the primo vascular structures in acupuncture are discussed. This review raises some fundamental questions and, at the same time, highlights the potential physiological roles of the primo vascular structures in acupuncture.