Acupuncture for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases: a systematic review.

Author: de Lima Pimentel R1, Duque AP1, Moreira BR2, Rodrigues LF Junior3
Author Information:
1Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biophysics, Department of Physiological Sciences, Biomedical Institute, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
2Physiotherapy Service, National Institute of Cardiology, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
3Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biophysics, Department of Physiological Sciences, Biomedical Institute, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Physiotherapy Service, National Institute of Cardiology, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. Electronic address: luiz.junior@unirio.br.
Conference/Journal: J Acupunct Meridian Stud.
Date published: 2018 Jul 27
Other: Pages: S2005-2901(18)30084-0 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2018.07.005. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 215


Acupuncture, for the westerns countries, is an innovative and low-cost therapy for treatment and prevention of CVDs. However, most of its effects and mechanisms are poorly understood. Thus, the objective of this work was to systematically review the literature regarding the clinical effects of acupuncture for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). A search for papers published, in English or Portuguese ​​in the past 20 years, was conducted at PubMed, SciELO, and PEDro databases. Clinical trials conducted on the effects of acupuncture were included in this review. Two reviewers extracted the data independently remaining seventeen articles after screening. The most used acupoint was PC6 (10 studies, 64.7%), followed by ST36 (6 studies, 35.3%), and auricular acupoints (4 studies, 23.5%). Among the clinical applications, hypertension was the most studied CVD, with acupuncture being the most reported method among the studies (70.6%). Only 3 articles reported no benefit in the treatment of CVDs for the methodology used. We conclude that, although several studies indicated an improvement in the response of the cardiovascular system in CVDs by acupuncture, EA, or electrostimulation treatment, the heterogeneity of the studies does not allow a standardization of its application for each specific disease, making further studies necessary for its use to become a reality.

KEYWORDS: EA; TEAS; acupuncture; cardiovascular disease; electroacupuncture; transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation

PMID: 30059774 DOI: 10.1016/j.jams.2018.07.005

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