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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:625645. doi: 10.1155/2015/625645. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

Additional Effects of Back-Shu Electroacupuncture and Moxibustion in Cardioprotection of Rat Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury.

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Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02453, Republic of Korea.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.


Many preclinical studies show that electroacupuncture (EA) on PC6 and ST36 can reduce infarct size after ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. Yet studies to enhance the treatment effect size are limited. The purpose of this study was to explore whether EA has additional myocardial protective effects on an ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury rat model when back-shu EA and moxibustion are added. SD rats were divided into several groups and treated with either EA only, EA + back-shu EA (B), or EA + B + moxibustion (M) for 5 consecutive days. Transthoracic echocardiography and molecular and immunohistochemical evaluations were performed. It was found that although myocardial infarct areas were significantly lower and cardiac function was also significantly preserved in the three treatment groups compared to the placebo group, there were no additional differences between the three treatment groups. In addition, HSP20 and HSP27 were expressed significantly more in the treatment groups. The results suggest that adding several treatments does not necessarily increase protection. Our study corroborates previous findings that more treatment, such as prolonging EA duration or increasing EA intensity, does not always lead to better results. Other methods of increasing treatment effect size should be explored.

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