Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Improves Upper GI Symptoms and Balances the Sympathovagal Activity in Scleroderma Patients

  • Hanaa Sallam
  • Terry A. McNearney
  • Dipti Doshi
  • J. D. Z. Chen
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10620-006-9257-3

Cite this article as:
Sallam, H., McNearney, T.A., Doshi, D. et al. Dig Dis Sci (2007) 52: 1329. doi:10.1007/s10620-006-9257-3

Abstract

To assess the impact of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) at gastrointestinal (GI) acupoints on GI symptoms and quality of life in scleroderma patients, 17 patients filled out SF-36 and GI symptom questionnaires before the electrocardiogram was recorded for two intervals: baseline and TENS. At home, patients applied TENS for 14 days, then were reassessed.

Acutely, TENS application significantly increased sympathetic and vagal activities vs. baseline (P= 0.02 and P= 0.004), respectively. Prolonged TENS application normalized the sympathovagal balance (P= 0.04), decreased GI symptom scores (P= 0.02) and increased the physical functioning score (SF36), which strongly correlated with the change in the sympathovagal balance (r= 0.6, P= 0.02). In conclusion, TENS at GI acupoints offers a potential option in the treatment of upper GI symptoms, but further study is necessary.

Keywords

Gastrointestinal symptomsHeart rate variabilitySystemic sclerosis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanaa Sallam
    • 1
  • Terry A. McNearney
    • 2
  • Dipti Doshi
    • 2
  • J. D. Z. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA