Chaos theory approach on the evaluation of long term alterations of HRV as a result of acupuncture treatment

Sant’Ana A. – M.D., Godoy M. – M.D., Fonseca G. – M.D.


ECG is a very practical method of obtaining information about the heart functional aspects in a linear approach. But, as acupuncture stimulation often leads to non-linear responses and results, we should enhance our methods of processing the ECG data. Chaos theory and complexity approachs may offer some tools by analyzing the heart rate variability (HRV), instead of the heart frequency (HF) of the ECG.


Determinate the possibility of getting more information on the heart functionality after acupuncture treatment by the analysis of HRV through chaos theory and complexity approachs.


Use of HRV data to evaluate the long term evolution of a group after acupuncture treatment when compared with a control non treated group, by means of their respective mean heart rate (MRR), standard deviation (SD), low frequency-high frequency relation, short and long term components, and approximate entropy.


There is statistical evidence of alterations on the measures considered, when related to acupuncture treatment, corresponding to conditions suggesting improvement of those parameters.


The use of complexity approaches to HRV data may be used to evaluate the effects of acupuncture treatment in a long term basis, including the possibility of enlarging the analytical tools available to the study through approaches related to chaos theory.