Objective: To observe the effect of electroacupuncture of “Biao-Ben acupoints” (Biao indicates pathogenic factors of disease; Ben refers to body constitution) on renal function, hemorheology and endothelial nitric oxide synthase level in patients with early diabetic kidney disease, so as to explore its mechanism underlying relieving early diabetic kidney disease.
Methods: A total of 120 patients with early diabetic kidney disease were selected and randomized into 3 groups: medication, conventional acupoints, and “Biao-Ben”acupoints groups by stratified randomization method, with 40 cases in each group. Patients of the me-dication group were treated by routine symptomatic supportive treatment (gleziquantel tablets or subcutaneous injection of insulin \[for hyperglycemia\], candesartan tablet \[hypertension\], simvastatin tablets \[hyperlipidemia\], etc.).
Based on the medication group, patients of the conventional acupoint group were treated by electroacupuncture of bilateral Feishu (BL13), Weiwanxiashu (EX-B3), Weishu (BL21), Shenshu (BL23), Sanyinjiao (SP6), Taixi (KI3) (main acupoints), etc., and those of the Biao-Ben acupoint group treated by electroacupuncture of main acupoints Zhongwan (CV12), Fenglong (ST40), Xuehai (SP10) and Taichong (LR3) (Biao acupoints), and Guanyuan (CV4) and Zusanli (ST36) (Ben acupoints). The electroacupuncture treatment was conducted one daily, 5 days a week for 8 weeks.
The urine microprotein level in 24 h was detected using an automatic specific protein analyzer, followed by calcula-ting the urine albumin excretion rate (UAER). The serum creatinine (Scr), urea nitrogen (BUN) and cystatin (CysC) contents were detected by using an automatic biochemical analyzer, and the whole blood low-cut viscosity (ηbL), whole blood mid-cut viscosity (ηbM), whole blood high-cut viscosity (ηbH), plasma viscosity (ηp) and fibrinogen (FIB) levels were detected using an automatic hemorheology tester, and the serum endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide levels assayed using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The total clinical effective rates were compared and the adverse reactions of the treatment were recorded.
Results: Compared with the values before the treatment in each group, the levels of UAER, Scr, BUN, CysC, ηbL, ηbM, ηbH, ηp and FIB were all significantly decreased (P<0.01), while serum endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide levels significantly increased in the three groups after the treatment (P<0.01). Compared with the medication group, the levels of UAER, Scr, BUN, CysC, ηbL, ηbM, ηbH, ηp and FIB were notably lower (P<0.01, P<0.05), and serum endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide contents obviously higher in both the conventional acupoint and “Biao-Ben” acupoint groups (P<0.01).
Comparison between the two electroacupuncture groups showed that the levels of UAER, BUN, ηbL, ηbM, ηbH and ηp were lower (P<0.05), whereas the serum endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide contents were considerably higher (P<0.05) in the “Biao-Ben” acupoint group than in the conventional acupoint group. After the treatment, the total clinical effective rate of the “Biao-Ben” acupoint group was 89.74%(35/39), being significantly higher than those of both the conventional acupoint group (71.05%, 27/38,P<0.05) and medication group (64.10%, 25/39, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Electroacupuncture of “Biao-Ben” acupoints can improve renal function and reduce microcirculation disorders in patients with early diabetic kidney disease, which may be related to its function in up-regulating the levels of serum endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide.