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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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CONFERENCES  SMART 2002 Milan, May 29-31, 2002

Minerva Anestesiologica 2002 April;68(4):147-50

language: English

Acupuncture. A useful complement of anesthesia?

Akça O., Sessler D. I. *

From the Neurosciences ICU, Outcomes Research® Institute, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
*Outcomes Research® Institute, Distinguished University Research Chair, Lolita and Samuel Weakley Professor of Anesthesiology University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA Ludwig Boltzmann Institute University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria


Since acupuncture provides analgesia it might be expected to reduce the need for conventional anaesthetic drugs during general anaesthesia. In this review we discuss four double blind, placebo controlled studies evaluating acupunture’s ability to reduce analgesic or anesthetic requirement.
Three studies (from Greif et al., Morioka et al. and Taguchi et al.) examined whether transcutaneous electrical stimulation of some acupuncture points reduces anaesthetic requirement. Kotani et al. tested the hypothesis that preoperative insertion of intradermal needles in the bladder meridian reduces postoperative pain and oppioid requirement.
Conclusions: none of the first three studies showed that the stimulation of the acupoints produces clinically important reductions in anaesthetic requirement. In contrast, Kotani et al. showed that at least some acupuncture techniques provide substantial postoperative analgesia and significantly reduce opioid requirement.

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