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A Preliminary study on evaluation of electro-acupunctural effect by using cortical infrared thermography

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Objective: To explore the possibility of using cortical infrared thermography (CIT) and temperature in studying the principle of acupuncture and moxibustion.Methods: The changes of the cerebral cortical temperature during electro-acupuncture (EA) measured by CIT in twenty cats were observed. By opening the skull before experiments, the cortex of animals was revealed. The distribution of the cortical temperature of the awakened animals was studied by AGA infrared thermovision, and the thermograms were analysed by computer.Results: (1) The thermograms of the profile of the cortex could be displayed clearly, the temperature was higher in the ante and lower in post-cortex than that in other regions. (2) No tendency of cortical temperature ascending within 30 minutes in cats without EA. (3) After EA, the temperature of cortex generally increased by 0.3 to 1.7 degrees centigrade, and 5 min after EA, the increment of temperature was the highest, 10 min after EA, the temperature increment was higher than before EA, but lower than 5 min after EA. The cortical temperature recovered 10 min after stopping the stimulation. (4) The temperature increment was more obvious in the regions of ant. ectosylvian, ant. supra-Sylvian and ant. Sylvian than that in other regions. No matter where the site of EA was, every group had its own special region of higher temperature increment.Conclusion: The temperature increased in the cortex were mainly in the somatosensory regions. The extent and position of temperature response of cortex after EA could be displayed with CIT directly by picture. The display of the temperature response could be taken as the indication of the nervous activity. CIT could be used to conduct the studies of the acupuncture and the brain.

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Author information

Correspondence to Zhang Dong or Wang Shuyou or Fu Weixing.

Additional information

The project supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 39770925)

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Dong, Z., Shuyou, W. & Weixing, F. A Preliminary study on evaluation of electro-acupunctural effect by using cortical infrared thermography. CJIM 4, 286–289 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02935482

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Key Words

  • infrared thermography
  • temperature
  • cerebral cortex
  • electro-acupuncture
  • neuro-imaging