Objective: To investigate the possible effects of low-frequency electroacupuncture (EA) and physical exercise on markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis, insulin sensitivity, and adipose tissue characteristics in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Design: Secondary analyses of a prospective, randomized controlled clinical trial.
Setting: Department of Physiology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Gothenburg.
Patient(s): Eighty-four women with PCOS were randomized.
Intervention(s): Women with PCOS were randomized to 16 weeks of low-frequency EA (14 treatments), physical exercise (at least 3 times/wk), or no intervention.
Main outcome measure(s): Anthropometrics, circulating coagulation and fibrinolytic markers, insulin sensitivity (euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp), hemodynamics, and adipose tissue morphology/function recorded at baseline, after 16 weeks of intervention, and after a 16-week follow-up.
Result(s): In the low-frequency EA group, circulating plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 activity decreased by 21.8% after 16 weeks of intervention and by 31.1% at the 16-week follow-up and differed from the physical exercise and the no intervention groups. The EA group had decreases in circulating fibrinogen and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), sagittal diameter, and diastolic blood pressure after treatment, and fibrinogen remained lower at the 16-week follow-up. In the physical exercise group, lipoprotein lipase activity increased and diastolic blood pressure decreased after treatment, and both diastolic and systolic blood pressure were lower at follow-up. No other variables were affected.
Conclusion(s): Low-frequency EA counteracted a possible prothrombotic state in women with PCOS, as reflected by a decrease in plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 activity. Despite within-group improvements, there were no between-group differences in anthropometric, metabolic, or hemodynamic variables after 16 weeks of EA or physical exercise at the dose/intensity studied.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00484705.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.