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Acupuncture eases pain of rectal distension

A Hong Kong study has found that electroacupuncture can reduce the discomfort of rectal distension, suggesting that it may be useful during colonoscopy procedures. Forty subjects scheduled for a colonoscopy were randomised to receive 45 minutes of either electroacupuncture (EA) or sham electroacupuncture (SA) (using a short stud instead of a needle) at Hegu L.I.-4, Neiguan P-6 and Zusanli ST-36. A balloon catheter attached to a barostat machine was then inserted into the subjects’ rectum. Colorectal discomfort after each incremental pressure (4 mmHg) rise was assessed by visual analog and a four-point subjective discomfort scale. Blood beta-endorphin level was measured before, immediately after acupuncture, at 24 mmHg, and at maximal tolerable inflation pressure. Rectal discomfort was reported at a higher inflation pressure in the EA group compared to the SA group. Twelve subjects in the EA group were able to tolerate the maximal inflation pressure (48 mmHg) compared to only four in the SA group. Beta-endorphin levels increased significantly in the EA group but not in the SA group. (Electroacupuncture in reduction of discomfort associated with barostat-induced rectal distension-a randomized controlled study. J Gastrointest Surg. 2011 Apr;15(4):660-6)

Quelle: www.jcm.co.uk

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