Integrating Acupuncture for Preeclampsia with Severe Features and HELLP Syndrome in a High-Risk Antepartum Care Setting

Med Acupunct. 2019 Dec 1;31(6):407-415. doi: 10.1089/acu.2019.1399. Epub 2019 Dec 13.


Background: Acupuncture is known to reduce blood pressure (BP) in essential hypertension. Acupuncture has been used for addressing several issues in pregnancy, such as morning sickness, labor preparation, and turning breeches. To date, there are very few studies on the use of acupuncture for preeclampsia in high-risk pregnancy. Case: The subject of this single case report was a 35-year-old primipara, who developed preeclampsia with severe features and HELLP [Hemolysis, ELevated liver enzymes, Low Platelet count] syndrome at 27 weeks and 6 days of gestation. She was admitted to an antepartum high-risk hospital unit and was treated with acupuncture and acupressure for a 5-week duration. Results: This patient experienced a temporary reduction in blood pressure and was able to maintain her pregnancy until 34 weeks. The patient had a vaginal birth of a baby girl with Apgar scores of 8 and 9. Conclusions: By reducing the patient's BP, increasing her uterine blood flow, and providing renal protection and hepatoprotection, acupuncture was effective for increasing the length of gestation in a high-risk pregnancy to improve the viability of the baby.

Keywords: acupuncture; hypertension; integrated medicine; obstetrics; preeclampsia; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports