Acupuncture in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting: efficacy of two acupuncture points versus a single one

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014 Apr;7(2):71-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2013.04.005. Epub 2013 Apr 28.


Despite recent advances in anesthesiology and postoperative care, postoperative nausea and vomiting are common complaints. Although acupuncture techniques have received attention in anesthesiology, the ideal technique and selection of the most appropriate acupuncture points are still under debate. This study compared the efficacy of two simultaneous acupuncture points with that of a single point in the prevention and treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting following general anesthesia through a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial involving 227 surgical patients undergoing general anesthesia who were randomly assigned into two groups. The first group received acupuncture by stimulation only on the PC6 point (single group), and the second group underwent concomitant stimulation of the PC6 and the L14 acupuncture points (combined group) during surgery under general anesthesia. The prevalences of postoperative nausea and vomiting were compared between the two groups. No significant differences were observed between the two groups (p>0.05). Of 115 patients in the combined group, 80 (69.6%) complained about nausea and vomiting compared with 96 (85.7%) in the single group, a significantly lower proportion (p<0.05). Our findings favor a combination of PC6 and LI4 stimulation for the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Keywords: acupuncture; anesthesiology; nausea; vomiting.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, General / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia, General / methods*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult