Acupuncture as Adjuvant Therapy for Treating Stable Angina Pectoris with Moderate Coronary Artery Lesions and the Mechanism of Heart-Brain Interactions: A Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021 Apr 28;2021:6634404. doi: 10.1155/2021/6634404. eCollection 2021.


Background. Stable angina pectoris with moderate coronary artery lesions is a syndrome caused by coronary artery stenosis, which endangers the quality of life. Previous acupuncture studies have shown effectiveness as a complementary therapy for ischaemic heart disease. However, more clinical evidence is needed for verification, and the mechanism should be investigated, especially involving the functional interactions between the heart and brain. Therefore, we designed a clinical trial to provide more evidence for acupuncture efficacy and its mechanism in ischaemic heart disease. Methods/Design. A total of 80 participants will be randomized to the electroacupuncture group and sham-electroacupuncture group at a ratio of 1 : 1. This trial will be conducted over 8 weeks, including a 2-week screening, 2-week treatment, and 4-week follow-up. All participants will continue to receive similar basic disease treatment procedures before the trial (including lifestyle changes and treatment for standard supportive medications, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia, such as aspirin, metoprolol succinate, atorvastatin, and sodium fosinopril). Additionally, 12 sessions of acupuncture will be administered during the treatment period. The main outcome is Seattle Angina Questionnaire scores. The other observation indices are the heart rate variability and self-rating anxiety scale and self-rating depression scale scores. To explore mechanisms based on the hypothesis of a correlation between heart and brain function, fMRI scans will be used to detect functional brain changes in 15 patients from each group at baseline and at the end of treatment. Finally, the efficacy of acupuncture will be evaluated, and the HRV and imaging data will be correlated with clinical data to investigate the possible relationships between the brain and heart activity. Discussion. This trial will provide evidence for acupuncture as adjuvant therapy for the treatment of stable angina pectoris with moderate coronary artery lesions. The results will shed light on potential mechanisms of heart-brain interactions underlying acupuncture as an adjuvant therapy for treating ischaemic heart disease. Trials registration: Clinical Trial, Registered 4 August 2019,

PMID:34012473 | PMC:PMC8105099 | DOI:10.1155/2021/6634404

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