Background: Needleless transcutaneous electroacupuncture (TEA) improves nausea and myoelectrical activity in diabetic gastroparesis (GP). Synchronized TEA (STEA), which combines synchronized breathing with TEA, is more potent than TEA in enhancing vagal activity in healthy subjects. Aims: To investigate whether STEA improves symptoms, electrogastrogram (EGG) and vagal activity in idiopathic gastroparesis (IGP). Methods: Eighteen IGP subjects underwent 2 randomized visits (sham at non-acupoints or real STEA at acupoints) consisted of a 30-minute baseline, an Ensure challenge to provoke nausea, followed by 60-minute treatment with sham or real STEA, and 15-minute observation period. Severity of nausea, EGG, and vagal activity (based on electrocardiogram and serum Pancreatic Polypeptide, PP) were recorded. Results: In sham or STEA, the nausea scores of 2.7 ± 0.5 and 1.9 ± 0.5 at fasting baseline, respectively, increased to 5.9 ± 0.4 and 5.8 ± 0.3 during Ensure test (P <.05, vs baseline), subsequently reduced to 3.4 ± 0.6 with sham or 3.6 ± 0.6 with STEA, respectively (P <.05, vs Ensure period). Experiments with sham and STEA started with similar % of normal waves on EGG (66.4 ± 3.9 and 61.8 ± 3.0, respectively); decreased to 63. 5 ± 4.1 and 58.2 ± 2.8 during the Ensure test. After STEA, there was ~24% increase in % of normal waves, significantly different from the sham (6.0%) (P <.01). In sham or STEA, vagal activity was identical at baseline and after the Ensure. STEA induced a 3-fold increase in vagal activity compared with sham (P <.01). Ensure increased serum PP levels, and both treatments decreased the PP. Conclusions: In IGP, STEA is not superior to Sham in decreasing nausea, but is more effective in improving gastric dysrhythmia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems