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Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) is an emerging therapeutic approach that combines the effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) with acupuncture point stimulation. Due to its noninvasive nature, it possesses relative advantages over traditional acupuncture and needle-based electrostimulation. Despite the large number of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) describing the effectiveness of TEAS in different applications, its role and mechanism are still not fully understood. The aim of this study was to systematically compare and summarize the latest studies examining a variety of TEAS applications in clinical practice. Databases, including Medline (PubMed), Cochrane Library and Google Scholar were searched without any time restrictions (as of March 2021). The analysis was performed according to the Cochrane Collaboration criteria. Out of 637 studies, only 22 RCTs were selected. Nine studies evaluated the impact of TEAS on nausea and vomiting (NV), showing beneficial effects compared to standard therapy. Eight RCTs examined the effectiveness of TEAS in pain management, reporting pain alleviation described using the visual analog scale (VAS) and lowering of total opioid doses. Improvement of postoperative recovery, in vitro fertilization and pregnancy outcomes, as well as display of cardioprotective properties were found to positively correlate with TEAS. As a noninvasive modality with advantages over classical acupuncture and needle-based electrostimulation, TEAS may be a valuable tool in clinical practice, particularly for pain and NV management. However, considering the methodological quality of the RCTs, rigorous large-scale clinical trials are required to evaluate the clinical utility of this method.


Mateusz Szmit, Rafał Krajewski, Jerzy Rudnicki, Siddarth Agrawal. Application and efficacy of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) in clinical practice: A systematic review. Advances in clinical and experimental medicine : official organ Wroclaw Medical University. 2023 Apr 07

PMID: 37026972

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