The objective of this case series was to describe the experience of the use of infrared thermography to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on cutaneous microcirculation of cancer patients.
The method is a cross-sectional survey, descriptive of a series of cases of a sample for convenience. The data collection procedure had a total duration of 30 minutes, being captured images at different times during the procedure: before the needling (T0); first minute (T0a); second minute (T0b); third minute (T0c); forth minute (T0d); fifth minute (T1); tenth minute (T2); and after 15 minutes (T3) of needling. Body temperature was evaluated by infrared camera, brand FLIR, series A. The FLIR Tools software version 5.9 was used to perform the calculation of the temperatures with subsequent descriptive analysis of the data. The choice of the PC6, BP10, Ren6, and B62 bilateral acupoints was because of the anatomic location and energetic actions on the blood circulation. The PC6 acupoint (Neiguan) is located in the meridian of the pericardium, lies on the anterior face of the forearm approximately 2 cm (0.79 inches) below the wrist and between the flexor tendons. This acupoint is responsible for sending signals to the central nervous system, which results in the reduction of sympathetic activity.
According to the ANOVA test, considering P value less than or equal to .05, there were statistically significant differences in the time intervals evaluated, with P value of .004. There was a 1.7% increase in the mean temperature of the interval between T3 and T0 in the sample, that is, between the time before and after 15 minutes of needling. Conclusion: This series of cases showed the viability of the method of evaluating the effects of acupuncture on cutaneous microcirculation by infrared thermography in the rehabilitation of cancer patients. The results showed statistically significant differences in the time intervals evaluated, demonstrating the importance of the evaluation at 15 minutes after needling to accurately verify the variation of cutaneous temperature by thermography in the acupoints. It was noticed that the increase of the cutaneous temperature occurred, mainly, in the first 5 minutes after the needling, with a reduction after this time interval.
Authors: Namie Okino Sawada, Bruna Franciely Toneti, Liyoko Okino, Juliana Maria de Paula Avelar, Amanda Fonseca Baviera and Luana Okino Sawada
Published in: Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network J Natl Compr Canc Netw 17, 3.5; 10.6004/jnccn.2018.7159,
Volume/Issue: Volume 17: Issue 3.5
Online Publication Date: 08 Mar 2019