This study examined the stratified anatomy of the traditional acupuncture point and the neuroanatomical relationship between and the brachial plexus, and investigated neural pathways that could be affected by acupuncture stimulation at .
Twelve dissected specimens were used to study the pathway of an acupuncture needle inserted at . The stratified anatomy and the neuroanatomical relationship between and the brachial plexus were studied. Our samples were grouped by gender and cause of death for comparative analysis.
All needles ( = 24, on both sides of a total of 12 cadavers) punctured the anterior scalene muscle medial to the brachial plexus and external jugular vein, lateral to the phrenic nerve and internal jugular vein, and superior to the clavicle and subclavian artery/vein. The depth of needle insertion at on the right side of male samples was 28.0 (interquartile range (IQR), 22.5-30.8) mm, which was approximately 8 mm deeper than for female subjects ( < 0.05). The needle was 3.0 (IQR, 2.0-5.0) mm and 7.0 (IQR, 5.5-8.0) mm medial to the brachial plexus on the left and right sides, respectively.
Deep needle insertion at can puncture the anterior scalene muscle. The mechanism of action of acupuncture stimulation at might be related to its close relationship with the brachial plexus. Significant differences in needling depth were observed when our samples were grouped by gender. More studies are needed.