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Med Acupunct. 2018 Dec 1;30(6):308-312. doi: 10.1089/acu.2018.1314.

Auricular Acupoints with Reduced Skin Resistance: Detection in Patients Scheduled for Hip Arthroplasty.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Medicine of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, National Medical University, Kiev, Ukraine.
Department of TCM/Acupuncture, Institute of Complementary Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Department of Sports Medicine, Institute of Sports Sciences, Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.


Objective: The detection of auricular acupuncture (AA) points by measuring electrical skin resistance (ESR) is often used in diagnostics and therapy; however, systematic investigations of ESR in AA points are rare. The aim of this study was to examine the frequency of detection of AA points with reduced ESR in patients scheduled for unilateral hip arthroplasty. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from 2 prospective clinical trials, which studied the perioperative analgesic effects of AA in patients with unilateral degenerative hip osteoarthritis. Three AA points (MA-TF1, MA-AH4, and MA-IC1) were examined in these patients before arthroplasty surgery using a SVESA (Neuralstift SVESA 1070, SVESA, Muenchen, Germany) neural pen. The frequency of AA points detection on the ipsi- and contralateral sides of the affected hip joint was registered and analyzed with a χ2 test. Results: The data of 114 patients (60 females) were available for analysis. AA points with lower ESR were detected more frequently on the side ipsilateral to the affected joint rather than on the contralateral side: 81% versus 37% of patients (P < 0.0001). None of the AA points could be identified at all in 13% of patients with diabetes mellitus versus 3% of patients without diabetes mellitus (P = 0.07). Conclusions: AA points with low ESR were detected more frequently on the side ipsilateral to the underlying pathology. This finding is in agreement with neurophysiologic data. The therapeutic value of this finding should be clarified in future studies.


auricular acupuncture; hip pain; skin resistance

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