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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 168252, 7 pages
Research Article

Ameliorating Effect of Transcutaneous Electroacupuncture on Impaired Gastric Accommodation in Patients with Postprandial Distress Syndrome-Predominant Functional Dyspepsia: A Pilot Study

1Division of Gastroenterology, Yinzhou Hospital Affiliated to Medical School of Ningbo University, Ningbo 315000, China
2Division of Gastroenterology, Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical College, Haikou 571000, China
3Ningbo Pace Translational Medical Research Center, Beilun, Ningbo 315000, China
4Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310000, China

Received 18 July 2014; Accepted 2 September 2014

Academic Editor: Jiande Chen

Copyright © 2015 Feng Xu 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.


Patients with functional dyspepsia (FD) have both reduced gastric accommodation and impaired gastric motility that are difficult to treat. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of transcutaneous electroacupuncture (TEA) for both of these disorders in FD patients. Acute experiments were performed in FD patients to study the effect of TEA and sham-TEA on gastric accommodation assessed by a nutrient drink test and gastric motility assessed by the measurement of the electrogastrogram (EGG). TEA or sham-TEA was performed via cutaneous electrodes at acupoints ST36 and PC6 or sham-points nonacupoints. It was found that (1) gastric accommodation (maximum tolerable volume) was reduced in FD patients compared with the controls . TEA improved gastric accommodation in FD patients . (2) Acute TEA significantly increased the percentage and power of normal gastric slow waves in the fed state assessed in the FD patients by the EGG in comparison with sham-TEA. (3) TEA increased vagal activity assessed by the spectral analysis of the heart rate variability in the fed state in FD patients. It was concluded that needleless method of transcutaneous electroacupuncture may have a therapeutic potential for treating both impaired gastric accommodation and impaired gastric motility in patients with FD.