Cardiac effects of cupping: myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, heart rate and mean arteial blood pressure in the rat heart

Shekarforoush S, Foadoddini M.
Chin J Physiol. 2012 Aug 31; 55(4):253-8. doi: 10.4077/CJP.2012.BAA042.

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1Trauma Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


This study was carried out to determine the effects of cupping on hemodynamic parameters, arrhythmias and infarct size (IS) after myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury in male rats. Rats were randomly subjected to dry or wet cupping. While dry cupping simply involved stimulation of the skin by suction, in wet cupping, scarification of the back skin was also carried out with a surgical blade and 0.5 ml blood was sucked out in each session. For ischemic reperfusion injury, rats were subjected to 30 min of left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion and 120 min of reperfusion. Our results show that cupping did not change the baseline heart rate or mean arterial blood pressure. Ischemic reperfusion injury caused an IS of 50 ± 5%, whereas dry cupping, single and repeated wet cupping significantly reduced IS to 28 ± 3%, 35 ± 3% and 22 ± 2% of area at risk, respectively. The rate of ischemic induced arrhythmias was significantly modified by wet cupping (P < 0.05). These results indicate for the first time in rats that cupping might be cardioprotective in the ischemic reperfusion injury model.

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