Electrical Impedance of Acupuncture Meridians: The Relevance of Subcutaneous Collagenous Bands

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Electrical Impedance of Acupuncture Meridians: The Relevance of Subcutaneous Collagenous Bands

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dc.contributor.author Shaw, Jessica R.
dc.contributor.author McManus, Claire A.
dc.contributor.author Langevin, Helene M.
dc.contributor.author Orgel, Joseph P. R. O.
dc.contributor.author Ahn, Andrew Cei
dc.contributor.author Park, Min
dc.contributor.author Kaptchuk, Ted Jack
dc.date.accessioned 2011-04-16T00:45:37Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Ahn, Andrew C., Min Park, Jessica R. Shaw, Claire A. McManus, Ted J. Kaptchuk, and Helene M. Langevin. 2010. Electrical impedance of acupuncture meridians: the relevance of subcutaneous collagenous bands. PLoS ONE 5(7). en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4851268
dc.description.abstract Background: The scientific basis for acupuncture meridians is unknown. Past studies have suggested that acupuncture meridians are physiologically characterized by low electrical impedance and anatomically associated with connective tissue planes. We are interested in seeing whether acupuncture meridians are associated with lower electrical impedance and whether ultrasound-derived measures – specifically echogenic collagenous bands - can account for these impedance differences. Methods/Results: In 28 healthy subjects, we assessed electrical impedance of skin and underlying subcutaneous connective tissue using a four needle-electrode approach. The impedances were obtained at 10 kHz and 100 kHz frequencies and at three body sites - upper arm (Large Intestine meridian), thigh (Liver), and lower leg (Bladder). Meridian locations were determined by acupuncturists. Ultrasound images were obtained to characterize the anatomical features at each measured site. We found significantly reduced electrical impedance at the Large Intestine meridian compared to adjacent control for both frequencies. No significant decrease in impedance was found at the Liver or Bladder meridian. Greater subcutaneous echogenic densities were significantly associated with reduced impedances in both within-site (meridian vs. adjacent control) and between-site (arm vs. thigh vs. lower leg) analyses. This relationship remained significant in multivariable analyses which also accounted for gender, needle penetration depth, subcutaneous layer thickness, and other ultrasound-derived measures. Conclusion/Significance: Collagenous bands, represented by increased ultrasound echogenicity, are significantly associated with lower electrical impedance and may account for reduced impedances previously reported at acupuncture meridians. This finding may provide important insights into the nature of acupuncture meridians and the relevance of collagen in bioelectrical measurements. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi://10.1371/journal.pone.0011907 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912845/pdf/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject biophysics en_US
dc.subject physiology en_US
dc.subject muscle and connective tissue en_US
dc.subject radiology and medical imaging en_US
dc.subject ultrasonography en_US
dc.subject cell biology en_US
dc.subject extra-cellular matrix en_US
dc.title Electrical Impedance of Acupuncture Meridians: The Relevance of Subcutaneous Collagenous Bands en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal PLoS ONE en_US
dash.depositing.author Ahn, Andrew Cei
dc.date.available 2011-04-16T00:45:37Z
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Global Health and Social Medicine en_US
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Medicine- Beth Israel-Deaconess en_US

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