An Italian team has found that acupuncture treatment prevents arrhythmic recurrences after cardioversion in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). They studied 80 patients who had persistent AF after sinus rhythm had been restored using electrical cardioversion. Twenty-six subjects who were already on amiodarone (an anti-arrhythmic drug) treatment constituted the AMIO reference group. The remaining patients were randomly allocated to receive acupuncture (ACU), sham acupuncture (ACU-sham), or neither acupuncture nor anti-arrhythmic therapy (CONTROL). Patients in the ACU and ACU-sham groups received ten weekly acupuncture sessions, using the points Neiguan P-6, Shenmen HE-7 and Xinshu BL-15. During a 12-month follow-up, AF recurred in 35 patients. AF recurrence rates in the AMIO, ACU, ACU-sham and CONTROL patients were 27%, 35%, 69% and 54%, respectively. Compared with the AMIO group, AF recurrence rate was similar in ACU patients, but significantly higher in ACU-sham and CONTROL patients. (Efficacy of Acupuncture in Preventing Atrial Fibrillation Recurrences After Electrical Cardioversion. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2010 Aug 30.