Electro-acupuncture decreases postoperative pain and improves recovery in patients undergoing a supratentorial craniotomy

Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(5):1099-109. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X14500682. Epub 2014 Aug 29.


We performed this study to examine the effect of electro-acupuncture (EA) on postoperative pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) and recovery in patients after a supratentorial tumor resection. Eighty-eight patients requiring a supratentorial tumor resection were anesthetized with sevoflurane and randomly allocated to a no treatment group (Group C) or an EA group (Group A). After anesthesia induction, the patients in Group A received EA at LI4 and SJ5, at BL63 and LR3 and at ST36 and GB40 on the same side as the craniotomy. The stimulation was continued until the end of the operation. Patient-controlled intravenous analgesia (PCIA) was used for the postoperative analgesia. The postoperative pain scores, PONV, the degree of dizziness and appetite were recorded. In the first 6 hours after the operation, the mean total bolus, the effective times of PCIA bolus administrations and the VAS scores were much lower in the EA group (p < 0.05). In the EA group, the incidence of PONV and degree of dizziness and feeling of fullness in the head within the first 24 hours after the operation was much lower than in the control group (p < 0.05). In the EA group, more patients had a better appetite than did the patients in group C (51.2% vs. 27.5%) (p < 0.05). The use of EA in neurosurgery patients improves the quality of postoperative analgesia, promotes appetite recovery and decreases some uncomfortable sensations, such as dizziness and feeling of fullness in the head.

Keywords: Appetite; Dizziness; Electro-Acupuncture; Postoperative Pain; Supratentorial Craniotomy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesia, Patient-Controlled / statistics & numerical data
  • Craniotomy*
  • Dizziness / prevention & control
  • Electroacupuncture / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / prevention & control
  • Supratentorial Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Young Adult