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Anna Leszczynska, Christian Theinert, Naim Terai, Eberhard Spoerl, Lutz E Pillunat; The effect of acupuncture on different ocular blood flow parameters in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):5090. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In addition to the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP), the improvement of ocular perfusion is essential in modern glaucoma therapy. Unfortunately, until now this has not been achieved sufficiently. In previous studies acupuncture showed an improvement of blood flow, especially in the brain and the eye. In a pilot study (Leszczynska et al. 2014), a trend-based improvement in ocular perfusion as well as a trend to a reduction of IOP by an eye-specific acupuncture was observed. In the present study, a larger number of patients was investigated to verify the results of the pilot study.
In a prospective, randomized study fifty-six glaucoma patients were investigated. Twenty-eight patients received an eye-specific acupuncture treatment according to Litscher et al. Further twenty-eight patients were treated with a non-eye-specific acupuncture scheme. We evaluated the changes in ocular perfusion measured by the Heidelberg Retina Flowmeter (HRF), the Ocular Blood Flow Analyzer (OBF) and the Retinal Vessel Analyzer (RVA), and the influence of acupuncture on IOP. 28 patients were also measured twenty-four hours after acupuncture to evaluate the midterm-term results on blood flow.
The OBF measurement showed a significant increase in pulsatile blood flow after the eye-specific acupuncture from 5.6 +/- 4.3 to 6.7 +/- 4.9µl/min (P=0.027). The non-specific scheme did not affect these parameters. On the following day the initial OBF-value was reached. The RVA and HRF measurements showed no statistically significant change in retinal vessel diameter and parapapillary retinal blood flow after treatment in neither of both groups. Both acupuncture schemes did not affect IOP.
The present acupuncture scheme according to Litscher et al. leads to a significant increase in ocular blood flow. Further studies on larger patient numbers, improvement of the acupuncture schemes and research on long-term effects have to be undertaken before this treatment can be integrated into the practical glaucoma therapy as an alternative, therapy-enhancing method.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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