Detection of ear acupuncture points by measuring the electrical skin resistance in patients before, during and after orthopedic surgery performed under general anesthesia

Acupunct Electrother Res. 2003;28(3-4):167-73. doi: 10.3727/036012903815901606.


The aim was to study the detection of ear acupuncture points (EAP) by measuring the electrical skin resistance under general anesthesia. EAP with lower skin resistance were examined in 25 patients scheduled for elective orthopedic surgery on the day before, during the operative procedure and a few hours after it. EAP, detected in more than 25% of patients were further analyzed using a logistic regression model and compared to those in 15 healthy volunteers. The following EAP were identified in more than 50% of patients: Clavicle, Lung, Shenmen and points corresponding to the site of surgery. Point Clavicle was found in 16 patients (64%) throughout the study period. Shenmen was detected in 15 patients (60%) before surgery, whereas during and after surgery it was represented in 5 (20%) of them. EAP corresponding to the site of surgery were detected in 20 patients (80%) during the operative procedure. These EAP were detected more frequently in patients in comparison with healthy volunteers. The side of examination showed no significant differences throughout the study. The frequently found patterns of EAP with lower skin resistance in patients during orthopedic surgery can be useful for treatment of preoperative anxiety and postoperative pain relief.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Acupuncture, Ear / methods*
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Ear / innervation*
  • Ear / physiopathology*
  • Electric Impedance
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care / methods
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Skin / physiopathology*