Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

Acupuncture in Cardiovascular Disease

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: March 20, 2002
Last updated: August 17, 2006
Last verified: July 2006
The purpose of this study is to determine if acupuncture decreases adrenaline levels in heart failure, thereby potentially improving survival and quality of life.

Condition Intervention Phase
Congestive Heart Failure
Procedure: Acupuncture
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Acupuncture in Cardiovascular Disease

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Estimated Enrollment: 200
Study Start Date: July 2001
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2003
Detailed Description:
Acupuncture is used to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension, and to relieve angina in patients with coronary artery disease. While the biological mechanisms of acupuncture analgesia have been studied intensely in animals and humans, the biological mechanisms for modulation of the cardiovascular system in humans remain largely unexplored. Acupuncture at traditional acupoints, and at nonacupoints, decreases the blood pressure response during mental stress in normal humans. This depressor effect cannot be fully explained by a decline in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA). Further, in humans with heart failure (HF) in whom MSNA is elevated, we have preliminary data that acupuncture significantly decreases the MSNA response during mental stress. The following hypotheses will be tested: 1) acupuncture, performed at traditional acupoints and non-acupoints in normal humans, stimulates skeletal muscle afferent neurons causing a release of endogenous opioids, which oppose sympathetic excitation and vasoconstriction in visceral vascular beds, such as the kidney; 2) in humans with HF in whom MSNA is elevated and renal vasoconstriction is the rule, acupuncture utilizes similar mechanisms as in normal humans to produce exaggerated inhibition of MSNA and reflex renal vasoconstriction. Positron emission tomography and microneurography will be utilized to answer the following questions in normal humans and patients with heart failure: 1. Is acupuncture attenuation of BP during mental stress mediated by a decrease in renal vasoconstriction? 2. Is acupuncture sympathoinhibitory? 3. Is acupuncture modulation of the autonomic nervous system mediated by muscle afferents? 4. Is acupuncture modulation of the autonomic nervous system mediated by activation of endogenous opioids? Understanding the mechanisms of acupuncture modulation of the autonomic nervous system in humans may help clarify its role as a therapeutic modality in cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure.

Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
  • Chronic congestive heart failure class II-III
  • No unstable angina
  • No myocardial infarction within 3 months
  • No peripheral neuropathy
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00032422

United States, California
UCLA School of Medicine
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90095-1679
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Holly R Middlekauff, MD University of California, Los Angeles
OverallOfficial: KaKit Hui, MD UCLA East/West Medical Center
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00032422     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT000671-01 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: March 20, 2002
Last Updated: August 17, 2006

Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
Heart Failure
Autonomic nervous system

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Heart Failure
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases processed this record on May 25, 2017