The effects of acupuncture on cardiac arrhythmias: A literature review

Arin M. VanWormer, Ruth Lindquist, Susan E. Sendelbach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Cardiac arrhythmias increase mortality and diminish quality of life. Several online databases were searched to produce relevant articles examining the effectiveness of acupuncture on cardiac arrhythmias. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine to treat multiple medical conditions and has been documented to improve many aspects of cardiovascular functioning. Despite several identified gaps in the efficacy of typical arrhythmia treatments (eg, pharmacotherapy, cardioversion), evidence supporting the use of acupuncture for cardiac arrhythmias has yet to be synthesized. According to the eight studies reviewed, 87% to 100% of participants converted to normal sinus rhythm after acupuncture. Acupuncture seems to be effective in treating several cardiac arrhythmias, but the limited methodologic quality of the studies necessitates better-controlled clinical trials. For acupuncture to become a more viable intervention in Western medicine, more rigorous studies are needed with standardized treatment protocols, diverse patient populations, and long-term follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-431
Number of pages7
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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