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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 126028, 7 pages
Research Article

The Depths from Skin to the Major Organs at Chest Acupoints of Pediatric Patients

1Graduate Institute of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
2Tai-An Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
3Children’s Hospital of China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
4School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan

Received 30 May 2015; Revised 28 August 2015; Accepted 6 September 2015

Academic Editor: Shu-Ming Wang

Copyright © 2015 Yi-Chun Ma 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.


Background. Acupuncture is applied to treat numerous diseases in pediatric patients. Few reports have been published on the depth to which it is safe to insert needle acupoints in pediatric patients. We evaluated the depths to which acupuncture needles can be inserted safely in chest acupoints in pediatric patients and the variations in safe depth according to sex, age, body weight, and body mass index (BMI). Methods. We retrospectively studied computed tomography (CT) images of pediatric patients aged 4 to 18 years who had undergone chest CT at China Medical University Hospital from December 2004 to May 2013. The safe depth of chest acupoints was directly measured from the CT images. The relationships between the safe depth of these acupoints and sex, age, body weight, and BMI were analyzed. Results. The results demonstrated significant differences in depth among boys and girls at KI25 (kidney meridian), ST16 (stomach meridian), ST18, SP17 (spleen meridian), SP19, SP20, PC1 (pericardium meridian), LU2 (lung meridian), and GB22 (gallbladder meridian). Safe depth significantly differed among the age groups , weight groups , and BMI groups . Conclusion. Physicians should focus on large variations in needle depth during acupuncture for achieving optimal therapeutic effect and preventing complications.