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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:346852. doi: 10.1155/2013/346852. Epub 2013 May 15.

Near-infrared spectroscopy for objectifying cerebral effects of laser acupuncture in term and preterm neonates.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 30, 8036 Graz, Austria ; Research Group for Paediatric Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM Research Centre Graz (Acupuncture Research), Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 30, 8036 Graz, Austria.


Laser acupuncture (LA) becomes more and more relevant in neonates and infants. With near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), a continuous and noninvasive measurement of tissue oxygenation is possible. Aim was to investigate, whether the application of LA was associated with any changes in regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rcSO2) in term and preterm neonates. The study included 20 neonates (12 males, 8 females). The Large Intestine 4 acupuncture point (LI 4, Hegu) was stimulated by a microlaser needle (10 mW, 685 nm laser needle EG GmbH, Germany) for 5 minutes, bilaterally. All neonates underwent polygraphic recording during undisturbed daytime sleep, including heart rate (HR), peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2), and measurement of nasal flow. Using NIRS, rcSO2 was measured continuously. Cerebral fractional tissue oxygen extraction (cFTOE) was calculated. We did not observe any significant changes in SpO2 and HR values during the whole observation period. However, there was a significant decrease in rcSO2 (P = 0.003) within postintervention period, accompanied by a significant increase in cFTOE (P = 0.010) in postintervention period.

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