Background: Transcutaneous electrical stimulation had been proven to modulate nervous system activity, leading to improvements in blood flow and trophism of tissues. Very few studies had focused on the cerebral hemodynamic effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation on mastoid regions.
Objective: To investigate the cerebral hemodynamic effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation on mastoid regions in patients with ischemic stroke.
Methods: A total of 40 patients with ischemic stroke were enrolled in this study. Patients were divided into two groups, 20 patients received drugs and transcutaneous electrical stimulation on mastoid regions as an experimental group, while other 20 patients only received drugs as a control group. All patients received 3 weeks of therapeutic intervention. Transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) was used to detect the mean flow velocity (mFV) values of the anterior cerebral artery (ACA), middle cerebral artery (MCA) and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) at the baseline and end of therapy. A paired t-test and and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with independent samples t test were used to determine the effects of the intervention.
Results: Patients of the experimental group had a higher mFV values than those in the control group at the end of therapy (p<0.05). The mFV values of the experimental group at the end of therapy had more favorable elevation in the ACA, MCA and PCA than those at the baseline (p<0.001). In the control group, the mFV values at the end of therapy were also higher compared to the baseline (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Our findings seemed to demonstrate that transcutaneous electrical stimulation on mastoid regions had significant effects in the improvement of cerebral hemodynamics for patients with ischemic stroke. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation on mastoid regions might be a valuable neuromodulation technique for ischemic stroke. The mechanisms behind this effect needed to be clarified by further investigations.