Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Acupuncture regulates the glucose metabolism in cerebral functional regions in chronic stage ischemic stroke patients---a PET-CT cerebral functional imaging study

Yong Huang1, Chunzhi Tang2, Shuxia Wang3, Yangjia Lu14, Wei Shen2, Junjun Yang2, Junqi Chen1, Renyong Lin1, Shaoyang Cui2, Huiling Xiao1, Shanshan Qu1, Xinsheng Lai2* and Baoci Shan5*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China

2 Department of Acupuncture and Massage, Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China

3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Canton Provincial People’s Hospital, Guangzhou, China

4 Department of Acupuncture and Rehabilitation, Guangdong Provincial Second TCM Hospital, Guangzhou, China

5 Key Laboratory of Nuclear Analytical Techniques, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:75  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-75

Published: 27 June 2012



Acupuncture has been applied to aid in the recovery of post-stroke patients, but its mechanism is unclear. This study aims to analyze the relationship between acupuncture and glucose metabolism in cerebral functional regions in post-stroke patients using 18 FDG PET-CT techniques. Forty-three ischemic stroke patients were randomly divided into 5 groups: the Waiguan (TE5) needling group, the TE5 sham needling group, the sham point needling group, the sham point sham needling group and the non-needling group. Cerebral functional images of all patients were then acquired using PET-CT scans and processed by SPM2 software.


Compared with the non-needling group, sham needling at TE5 and needling/sham needling at the sham point did not activate cerebral areas. However, needling at TE5 resulted in the activation of Brodmann Area (BA) 30. Needling/sham needling at TE5 and needling at the sham point did not deactivate any cerebral areas, whereas sham needling at the sham point led to deactivation in BA6. Compared with sham needling at TE5, needling at TE5 activated BA13, 19 and 47 and did not deactivate any areas. Compared with needling at the sham point, needling at TE5 had no associated activation but a deactivating effect on BA9.


Needling at TE5 had a regulating effect on cerebral functional areas shown by PET-CT, and this may relate to its impact on the recovery of post-stroke patients.

Waiguan (TE5); Sham point; Ischemic stroke; Needling/sham needling; PET-CT cerebral functional imaging; Cerebral activating/deactivating effect