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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 574986, 7 pages
Research Article

Effect of ST36 Acupuncture on Hyperventilation-Induced CO2 Reactivity of the Basilar and Middle Cerebral Arteries and Heart Rate Variability in Normal Subjects

Department of Cardiology and Neurology of Korean Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, No. 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-872, Republic of Korea

Received 26 May 2014; Accepted 25 June 2014; Published 14 July 2014

Academic Editor: Andreas Sandner-Kiesling

Copyright © 2014 Sang-Ho Hyun 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.


This study was conducted to verify the effect of acupuncture on cerebral haemodynamics to provide evidence for the use of acupuncture treatment as a complementary therapy for the high-risk stroke population. The effect of ST36 acupuncture treatment on the hyperventilation-induced CO2 reactivity of the basilar and middle cerebral arteries was studied in 10 healthy male volunteers (mean age, 25.2 ± 1.5 years) using a transcranial Doppler sonography with an interval of 1 week between measurements, and a portable ECG monitoring system was used to obtain ECG data simultaneously. The CO2 reactivity of the basilar and middle cerebral arteries increased significantly after ST36 acupuncture treatment, whereas the mean arterial blood pressure and pulse rate did not change significantly. The high-frequency power significantly increased after ST36 acupuncture treatment, and the percentage increase of high-frequency power correlated significantly with the percentage increase in the CO2 reactivity of the contralateral middle cerebral artery. These data suggest that ST36 acupuncture treatment increases CO2 reactivity, indicating improvement of vasodilatory potential of the cerebral vasculature to compensate for fluctuations caused by changes in external conditions. The increase in parasympathetic tone by ST36 acupuncture treatment is responsible for this therapeutic effect.