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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:636081. doi: 10.1155/2013/636081. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Historical Review about Research on "Bonghan System" in China.

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Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China.


The meridian-collateral theory is the theoretical basis of acupuncture-moxibustion therapy. Professor Bonghan Kim, a professor of the Pyongyang Medical University of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, claimed that he found the anatomical structure of meridian-collaterals, named Bonghan corpuscles (BHCs) and Bonghan ducts (BHDs) system or primo vascular system (PVS), in 1962. From 1963 to 1965, researchers from our institute conducted a series of comparative anatomical experiments, trying to reproduce the so-called BHC- and BHD-like structures in different strains of animals. In the present paper, the authors introduced their research findings about BHC- and BHD-like structures in the young rabbit's umbilicus including its external appearance, ectoplasm and endoplasm, and about strip-like and node-like objects in the blood vessels and lymph vessels near the larger abdominal and cervical blood vessels and chromaffin tissue in the back wall of the rabbit's abdominal cavity and between the bilateral kidneys. In spite of existence of the BHC- and BHD-like structures in the rabbit, there has been no proved evidence for their association with the meridian-collateral system described in acupuncture medicine. In the present historical review, the authors also make a discussion about the significance of those findings.

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