Auricular Acupuncture Lowers Induction Dose for of Anesthesia
Kristen Sparrow • May 11, 2019
In this study, auricular acupuncture decreased the induction dose required for general surgery. They also clearly delineate their theory that this likely due to the effect of vagal activity, which I monitor daily in the acupuncture clinic…
Objective: Auricular acupuncture, through a combination of several points, can produce sedative and analgesic effects. The aim of this study was to compare the induction dose of propofol required to obtain a loss of response to verbal commands, with and without a preoperative combination of auricular points. Materials and Methods: This study involved American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I and II patients, ages 18- 65, of either sex, having elective ambulatory surgery (digestive or gynecologic) under general anesthesia. The subjects were allocated to 2 groups: (1) patients treated by auricular acupuncture (group AA), compared with (2) patients not treated by auricular acupuncture (group NA). Propofol injection was initiated in each group, 10 mg, every 5 seconds, in order for the anesthetist to determine the minimum dose until there was a loss of response to verbal commands (the clinical hypnotic endpoint). At this point, the main outcome-the dose of propofol given-was noted. Results: There were 32 patients in this study (16 in each group). Age, height, weight, and body mass index were similar in the groups (P ≥ 0.05). The required induction propofol dose was 17.7% lower in group AA than in group NA-a statistically significant difference (P ≤ 0.05). The mean induction dose indexed to weight was 2.18 mg/kg (range: 1.53-3.13 mg/kg) in group NA and 1.79 mg/kg (range: 1.12-2.11 mg/kg) in group AA. There were no complications. Conclusions: Auricular acupuncture is a method for stimulating the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system. Preoperative auricular acupuncture enabled reductions of induction doses of propofol for general anesthesia without any clinically important side-effects.