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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2011 Feb;123(3-4):112-6. doi: 10.1007/S00508-011-1531-5. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Auricular electroacupuncture reduces frequency and severity of Raynaud attacks.

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Division of Angiology, Department of Internal Medicine II, Vienna Medical University, Vienna General Hospital, Vienna, Austria.



Acupuncture has been shown to influence skin perfusion and the subjective cold perception threshold. Therefore, we hypothesized that auricular electroacupuncture (EA) might reduce symptoms in primary Raynaud's phenomenon (PRP).


Twenty-six patients with PRP received 6 cycles of auricular EA. After 3, 6 and 24 weeks attack frequency and severity were reevaluated using standardized questionnaires and a visual analogue scale (VAS). Skin temperature was assessed by infrared thermography and laser Doppler perfusion imaging was used to determine skin perfusion.


Compared to baseline we found a significant reduction of attack frequency after 3 (p = 0.001) and 6 weeks (p < 0.001) of auricular EA. This improvement sustained following cessation of EA, after 24 weeks (p < 0.001). Furthermore, attack associated pain was reduced after 3 (p = 0.003), 6 (p = 0.003) and 24 weeks (p = 0.001) of treatment, while skin temperature and skin perfusion did not change significantly throughout the study period.


Auricular EA reduces symptoms by means of frequency and severity of attacks in PRP but has no influence on skin perfusion and skin temperature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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