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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 832523, 7 pages
Research Article

An Alternative to Current Therapies of Functional Dyspepsia: Self-Administrated Transcutaneous Electroacupuncture Improves Dyspeptic Symptoms

1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Gastroenterology, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China
2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA

Received 18 July 2014; Accepted 1 September 2014; Published 30 October 2014

Academic Editor: Jieyun Yin

Copyright © 2014 Ting Ji 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.


Functional dyspepsia is of high prevalence with little treatment options. The aim of this study was to develop a new treatment method using self-management transcutaneous electroacupuncture (TEA) for functional dyspepsia (FD). Twenty-eight patients with FD were enrolled and underwent a crossover clinical trial with 2-week TEA at ST36 and PC6 and 2-week sham-TEA at nonacupuncture sham-points. Questionnaires were used to assess symptoms of dyspepsia and quality of life. Physiological testing included gastric emptying and electrogastrography. It was found that (1) TEA but not sham-TEA significantly improved dyspeptic symptoms and 4 domains in quality of life; improvement was also noted in self-rated anxiety and depression scores; (2) gastric emptying was significantly and substantially increased with 2-week TEA but not sham-TEA; and (3) gastric accommodation was also improved with TEA but not sham-TEA, reflected as increased ingested nutrient volumes at the levels of satiety and maximum tolerance. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential of self-administrated TEA method for functional dyspepsia, possibly attributed to improvement in gastric motility.