Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 1892161, 6 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture Improves Gastric Emptying in Critically Ill Neurosurgical Patients: A Pilot Study

1Department of Surgical Critical Care, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan
2Department of General Surgery, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan
3School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
4Department of Chinese Medicine, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
6Transplant Medicine & Surgery Research Centre, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Sung-Yen Huang; wt.gro.hcc@384231 and Ping-Yi Lin; wt.gro.hcc@12296

Received 27 April 2017; Accepted 17 July 2017; Published 20 September 2017

Academic Editor: Shu-Ming Wang

Copyright © 2017 Man-Ling Kao 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.


Objective. To compare the efficacy of combined electroacupuncture and metoclopramide treatment with that of metoclopramide only in improving gastric emptying in critically ill neurosurgical patients. Methods. In this prospective case-control pilot study, a total of 16 adult critically ill mechanically ventilated patients who were treated in the surgical intensive care unit were enrolled. Electrical stimulation was applied to 4 pairs of points (maximum intensity < 9.8 mA at 2 Hz). Patients in the control group received standard treatment with intravenous metoclopramide only. Patients in the experimental group received intravenous metoclopramide plus electroacupuncture treatment once daily for 6 consecutive days. Results. Gastric residual volume in the experimental group () reduced gradually until the fourth day after treatment with electroacupuncture combined with routine metoclopramide administration. Beginning on the fourth day, residual volume was maintained at less than 200 ml per day for the following two days. In the control group (), there was a gradual reduction in residual volume during the first four days followed by a rebounding increase over the next two days. Conclusions. Electroacupuncture combined with intravenous metoclopramide is a more effective treatment for gastric emptying than metoclopramide alone in adult critically ill patients with impaired brain function.