Using microPET imaging in quantitative verification of the acupuncture effect in ischemia stroke treatment

Sci Rep. 2013:3:1070. doi: 10.1038/srep01070. Epub 2013 Jan 15.


Acupuncture has been indispensable in Chinese medicine. However, its function still remains elusive. This paper studies the effect of acupuncture in ischemia stroke treatment using the Sprague Dawley rat animal model. We induced focal cerebral ischemia in rats using the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) procedure. For each rat in the real acupuncture group (n = 63), the sham acupoint treatment group (n = 62), and the blank control group (n = 30), we acquired 3-D fluorodeoxyglucose-microPET images at baseline, after MCAO, and after treatment, respectively. Then, we measured the changes of the injury-volume in the right hemisphere of these rats. The measurements showed that real acupuncture slightly reduced the injury-volume, sham acupoint treatment increased the injury-volume, and blank control had no obvious effect in reducing the injury-volume. Statistical tests also confirmed that acupuncture was more effective than random stimulus in improving the metabolic recovery after stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / chemistry
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / therapy*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18