Background: Stroke may cause high mortality and disability rate, and acupuncture has been widely used in stroke patient in clinical practice. However, there is still no conclusion in the optimal population and the timing and effect of acupuncture intervention.
Methods: In this study, we applied a retrospective analysis with data collection from stroke patients in Stroke Registry In Chang Gung Healthcare System (SRICHS). Stroke patients who received acupuncture consultation in neurology ward of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital from Jan, 2010 to Dec, 2011 were enrolled. Clinical profiles including neurologic deficit, activities of daily living and other basic characteristics were analyzed. We compared the NIHSS and Barthel index before and after acupuncture, applied with subgroup analysis, and adjusted by regression method.
Results: Totally 65 stroke patients were enrolled with infarction in 54 and hemorrhage in 11. Acupuncture resulted in improvement of NIHSS and Barthel index. For the infarction patients received acupuncture, the improvement of Barthel index score was 7.3 (p=0.003). In stroke patients with moderate severity, acupuncture within four weeks after stroke onset could improve NIH stroke score as 4.384 (95% CI: -8.003, -0.765, p=0.019).
Conclusion: Acupuncture was effective in subacute ischemic stroke patients with moderate severity. Acupuncture intervention within four weeks after stroke onset may play an important role.