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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6435702, 9 pages
Research Article

Differences in the Tongue Features of Primary Dysmenorrhea Patients and Controls over a Normal Menstrual Cycle

1KM Fundamental Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 1672 Yuseongdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
2Department of Biofunctional Medicine and Diagnosis, College of Korean Medicine, Sangji University, 83 Sangjidae-gil, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
3Department of Human Informatics of Korean Medicine, Interdisciplinary Programs, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4Department of Biofunctional Medicine & Diagnostics, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 26-6 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Keun Ho Kim;

Received 14 February 2017; Accepted 24 April 2017; Published 31 May 2017

Academic Editor: Fabio Firenzuoli

Copyright © 2017 Jihye Kim 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. The aims of this study were to investigate the relationships between tongue features and the existence of menstrual pain and to provide basic information regarding the changes in tongue features during a menstrual cycle. Methods. This study was conducted at the Kyung Hee University Medical Center. Forty-eight eligible participants aged 20 to 29 years were enrolled and assigned to two groups according to their visual analogue scale (VAS) scores. Group A included 24 females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea (PD) caused by qi stagnation and blood stasis syndrome with VAS ≥ 4. In contrast, Group B included 24 females with few premenstrual symptoms and VAS < 4. All participants completed four visits (menses-follicular-luteal-menses phases), and the tongue images were taken by using a computerized tongue image analysis system (CTIS). Results. The results revealed that the tongue coating color value and the tongue coating thickness in the PD group during the menstrual phase were significantly lower than those of the control group ( and , resp.). Conclusions. These results suggest that the tongue features obtained from the CTIS may serve as a supplementary means for the differentiation of syndromes and the evaluation of therapeutic effect and prognosis in PD. Trial Registration. This trial was registered with Clinical Research Information Service, registration number KCT0001604, registered on 27 August 2015.