Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of PC5 and PC6 acupoints modulates autonomic balance in heart transplant patients: a pilot study.

Author: Moreira BR1, Duque AP2, Sant'Ana Massolar C2, de Lima Pimentel R2, Felix Mediano MF3, Fellipe Guimar√£es TC4, Rodrigues Junior LF5
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup>Phisiotherapy Service, National Institute of Cardiology, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. <sup>2</sup>Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biophysics, Department of Physiological Sciences, Biomedical Institute, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. <sup>3</sup>Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. <sup>4</sup>Education and Research Department, National Institute of Cardiology, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. <sup>5</sup>Phisiotherapy Service, National Institute of Cardiology, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biophysics, Department of Physiological Sciences, Biomedical Institute, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. Electronic address: luiz.junior@unirio.br.
Conference/Journal: J Acupunct Meridian Stud.
Date published: 2019 Apr 23
Other: Pages: S2005-2901(18)30140-7 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2019.04.001. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 204


The increased resting heart rate (HR) in heart transplant patients is associated with enhanced metabolic demand, the potential for fatigue, and lower quality of life. In the present study, we hypothesized that transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) could modulate autonomic balance and reduce resting HR in these patients. A single-arm clinical trial was conducted with patients aged > 18 years, at ambulatorial accompaniment after heart transplantation, were submitted to a single TEAS (40 minutes at PC5 and PC6 acupoints). The arterial blood pressure and RR interval were recorded from 20 minutes before to 20 minutes after TEAS. The RR intervals were used to calculate heart rate variability (HRV) and sympathovagal index. Linear mixed models were used for comparing variables before, during and after TEAS. The significance level was set as P < 0.05. TEAS acutely improved HRV in transplant patients and enhanced the sympathovagal index during its application. Significant increases in systolic, diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure, were observed at recovery, such as a slight, but significant, decrease in heart rate. In conclusion, TEAS at PC5 and PC6 acutely modulates HRV and hemodynamics in transplant patients.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.

KEYWORDS: Acupuncture Points; heart rate variability; heart transplantation; transcutaneous electrical stimulation

PMID: 31026520 DOI: 10.1016/j.jams.2019.04.001