Research: BERGQVIST,

Listed in Issue 231


BERGQVIST, Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Surgery, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. conducted a study to systematically review the literature on vascular injuries caused by acupuncture.



This was a systematic literature search in Medline and PubMed.


Thirty-one cases were identified and the majority developed symptoms in direct connection with the acupuncture treatment. Three patients died, two from pericardial tamponade and one from an aorto-duodenal fistula. There were seven more tamponades, eight pseudo aneurysms, two with ischemia, two with venous thrombosis, one with compartment syndrome and seven with bleeding (five in the central nervous system). The two patients with ischemia had remaining sequelae. Information on follow-up was suboptimal with no information in fourteen patients.


Vascular injuries are rare, bleeding and pseudo aneurysm dominating. Follow-up is insufficient in the hitherto published papers.


Bergqvist D. Vascular injuries caused by acupuncture. A systematic review. Int Angiol. 32(1):1-8. Feb 2013.

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