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The Influence of Acupressure on the Monitoring of Acoustic Evoked Potentials in Unsedated Adult Volunteers

Dullenkopf, Alexander MD; Schmitz, Achim MD; Lamesic, Goran; Weiss, Markus MD; Lang, Anette MD

doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000130902.07035.8F
Technology, Computing, and Simulation: Research Report

Approaches for monitoring depth of anesthesia can be influenced by things other than anesthetics. In this study, we evaluated the influence of acupressure on the A-line autoregressive index (AAI) and on stress levels in unsedated volunteers. Fifteen unsedated adult volunteers received pressure on the acupuncture Extra 1 point (EP) and on a control point for 10 min on different days. AAI was recorded 5 min before, during, and 5 min after the interventions. Before and after the procedures, the volunteers quantified their level of stress by means of a visual analog stress scale (VSS; 0–100). Corresponding data were compared by Wilcoxon’s signed rank test (Bonferroni correction, P < 0.05). Data are median (range). AAI decreased from 73 (40–99) to 53 (33–94) after 10 min of pressure on EP (P = 0.0044). Five minutes after release of pressure there was no difference compared with initial values. There was a statistically significant difference between VSS before and after pressure on EP (36 [7–67] to 15 [0–44]; P = 0.0066), but not on control point. In conclusion, there was a wide range of AAI values in awake volunteers. The AAI was influenced by acupressure performed on the EP in unsedated adult volunteers. Acupressure on this point significantly reduced stress levels.

IMPLICATIONS: This study shows that the A-line autoregressive index, a tool for monitoring depth of anesthesia, can be influenced by acupressure. Ten minutes of acupressure on the Extra 1 point but not on a control point significantly reduced stress levels in unsedated adult volunteers.

Department of Anesthesia, University Children’s Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland

The Alaris A-line monitoring was provided for this study by the local distributor (Carbamed, Liebefeld-Bern, Switzerland) without charge. The authors are not part of any agreement concerning the device and did not receive any financial support from the manufacturer or distributor for the study.

Accepted for publication April 16, 2004.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Alex. Dullenkopf, Department of Anesthesia, University Children’s Hospital, Zurich, Steinwiesstrasse 75, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland. Address e-mail to

© 2004 International Anesthesia Research Society