The amount of compensatory sweating depends on the patient, the damage that the white rami communicans incurs, and the amount of cell body reorganization in the spinal cord after surgery.
Other potential complications include inadequate resection of the ganglia, gustatory sweating, pneumothorax, cardiac dysfunction, post-operative pain, and finally Horner’s syndrome secondary to resection of the stellate ganglion.

After severing the cervical sympathetic trunk, the cells of the cervical sympathetic ganglion undergo transneuronic degeneration
After severing the sympathetic trunk, the cells of its origin undergo complete disintegration within a year.

Spinal cord infarction occurring during thoraco-lumbar sympathectomy
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1963;26:418-421 doi:10.1136/jnnp.26.5.418

Friday, February 24, 2012

impairment of the CBF autoregulation after unilateral cervical sympathectomy

Although these findings argued against a neurogenic mechanism, James at al. (1969) reported impairment of autoregulation after unilateral cervical sympathectomy in the babbon. Gotoh et al. (1971/1972) observed impairment of autoregulation in patients with the Shy-Drager syndrome.
It was concluded that the autonomic nervous system plays an important role in the mechanism of autoregulation of CBF and that his mechanism is independent of the chemical control of the cerebral vessels. This was confirmed by direct observation of the pial vessels in cats, where separate sites of action in the vascular tree for autoregulation and chemical control were demonstrated; the autoregulatory reaction was located in pial arteries with a diameter larger than 50 μ, and the reaction to carbon dioxide in pial arteries of smaller diameter (Gotoh et al. 1975).
They concluded that the arteries operating in autoregulation were the larger ones with the dense innervation, while the smaller arteries with sparse innervation were involved in chemical control.
Coronna and Plum (1973) demonstrated the absence of CBF autoregulation in a patient with a Shy-Drager syndrome who had a postganglionic denervation.

Gotoh et al (1979) subsequently showed that autoregulation in patients with this syndrome was impaired irrespective of the localization of the damage to the cervical sympathetic nervous system (preganglionic, central, postganglionic) as judged by the eye instillation test.
Handbook of Clinical Neurology,

Vascular Diseases, Part I by P. J. Vinken, G. W. Bruyn, H. L. Klawans, and J. F. Toole
, Volume 53, Part 1
Elsevier Health Sciences, 1988