Neiguan (PC-6) is a traditional acupoint in the bilateral forearms, overlying the median nerve trunk. Neiguan electroacupuncture (EA) has been believed to affect cardiovascular function and used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve or treat a wide range of health conditions and diseases, including angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, hypertension, and hypotension. However, few physiological studies have assessed the beneficial effects of Neiguan EA on the cardiovascular function. In the present study, we investigated its effects on the cardiovascular function in normal open-chest dogs under pentobarbital and fentanyl anesthesia. We also obtained left ventricular (LV) pressure-volume (P-V) data with a micromanometer catheter and a volumetric conductance catheter. Mean arterial pressure, end-diastolic volume, heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output, and end-systolic pressure gradually decreased by 5 to 10% over 1.5 h without Neiguan EA. Neiguan EA at 40 Hz, however, increased these cardiovascular variables by 10 to 15%, especially end-systolic elastance (Ees) by 40% (p<0.05) over 15 to 60 min. After Neiguan EA was stopped at 1 h, these facilitated cardiovascular variables decreased below the pre-EA level. This beneficial effect of electroacupuncture may contribute to the effectiveness of the acupuncture in Chinese medicine.
2001 by The Physiological Society of Japan