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Acupunct Electrother Res. 1991;16(1-2):1-5.

Relationship between blood radioimmunoreactive beta-endorphin and hand skin temperature during the electro-acupuncture induction of ovulation.

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Institute of Acupuncture Research, Shanghai Medical University, People's Republic of China.


Thirteen cycles of anovulation menstruation in 11 cases were treated with Electro-Acupuncture (EA) ovulation induction. In 6 of these cycles which showed ovulation, the hand skin temperature (HST) of these patients was increased after EA treatment. In the other 7 cycles ovulation was not induced. There were no regular changes in HST of 5 normal subjects. The level of radioimmunoreactive beta-endorphin (r beta-E) fluctuated, and returned to the preacupunctural level in 30 min. after withdrawal of needles in normal subjects. After EA, the level of blood r beta-E in cycles with ovulation declined or maintained the range of normal subjects. But the level of blood r beta-E in cycles in which the induction failed to cause ovulation was kept higher that that of normal. (P less than 0.05). There was a negative correlation in the decrease of blood r beta-E and increase of HST after EA (r = 0.677, P less than 0.01). EA is able to regulate the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Since a good response is usually accompanied with the increase of HST, monitoring HST may provide a rough but simple method for predicting the curative effect of EA. The role of r beta-E in the mechanism of EA ovulation induction was discussed.

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