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, January 2, 2015

Peripheral, autonomic regulation of locus coeruleus noradrenergic neurons in brain: putative implications for psychiatry and psychopharmacology

the new data seem to allow a better understanding of how autonomic vulnerability or visceral dysfunction may precipitate or aggravate mental symptoms and disorder.

T. H. Svensson1
(1)Department of Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Box 60 400, S-104 01 Stockholm, Sweden
Received: 20 June 1986 Revised: 25 November 1986

"Locus coeruleus (LC) is located in the ventrallateral side of the fourth ventricle in the pontine, most of which are noradrenergic neurons projecting to the cortex, cingulate cortex, amygdala nucleus, thalamus, hypothalamus, olfactory tubercles, hippocampus, cerebellum, and spinal cord (Swanson and Hartman, 1975). Norepinephrine (NE) released from the nerve terminal of LC neurons contributes to about 70% of the total extracellular NE in primates brain (Svensson, 1987). It plays important roles not only in arousal, attention, emotion control, and stress (reviewed in Aston-Jones and Cohen, 2005Berridge and Waterhouse, 2003Bouret and Sara, 2005Nieuwenhuis et al., 2005Sara and Devauges, 1989Valentino and Van Bockstaele, 2008), but also in sensory information processing (Svensson, 1987). LC directly modulates the somatosensory information from the peripheral system. Under the stress condition, LC could completely inhibit the input from painful stimuli through the descending projection to the spinal cord (Stahl and Briley, 2004). Dys-regulations of LC neurotransmission have been suggested to be involved in physical painful symptoms, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sleep/arousal disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease (reviewed in Berridge and Waterhouse, 2003Grimbergen et al., 2009Mehler and Purpura, 2009)."

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

direct injury to the anatomic structure of the autonomic nervous system in the thoracic cavity, and postthoracotomy pain may contribute independently or in association with each other to the development of these arrhythmias

 2013;2013:413985. doi: 10.1155/2013/413985. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Supraventricular arrhythmias after thoracotomy: is there a role for autonomic imbalance?


Supraventricular arrhythmias are common rhythm disturbances following pulmonary surgery. The overall incidence varies between 3.2% and 30% in the literature, while atrial fibrillation is the most common form. These arrhythmias usually have an uneventful clinical course and revert to normal sinus rhythm, usually before patent's discharge from hospital. Their importance lies in the immediate hemodynamic consequences, the potential for systemic embolization and the consequent long-term need for prophylactic drug administration, and the increased cost of hospitalization. Their incidence is probably related to the magnitude of the performed operative procedure, occurring more frequently after pneumonectomy than after lobectomy. Investigators believe that surgical factors (irritation of the atria per se or on the ground of chronic inflammation of aged atria), direct injury to the anatomic structure of the autonomic nervous system in the thoracic cavity, and postthoracotomy pain may contribute independently or in association with each other to the development of these arrhythmias. This review discusses currently available information about the potential mechanisms and risk factors for these rhythm disturbances. The discussion is in particular focused on the role of postoperative pain and its relation to the autonomic imbalance, in an attempt to avoid or minimize discomfort with proper analgesia utilisation.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Since changes in old age show some similarities with those following chronic sympathectomy"

"For the tracheobronchial tree. surgical (sympathectomy) and chemical (with 6-hydroxydopamine or reserpine) interventions lead to histological disappearance of the NA and NPY." (p.435)

" Prejunctional supersensitivity to norepinephrine after sympathectomy or cocaine treatment." (p. 410)

"Following chronic sympathectomy, substance P expression in presumptive sensory nerves....and NPY-expression in parasympathetic nerves autonomically innervated tissues have both been shown to increase... Experiments using NGF and anti-NGF antibodies (Kessler et al., 1983) have suggested that competition between sympathetic and sensory fibers for target-derived growth factors could explain these apparently compensatory interactions,..." (p. 33)

"Since changes in old age show some similarities with those following chronic sympathectomy, it is tempting to consider whether alterations in one group of nerves in tissues with multiple innervations trigger reciprocal changes in other populations of nerves, perhaps through the mechanism of competition for common, target-produced growth factors. The nature of these changes is such that they could be nonadaptive and even destabilizing of cardiovascular homeostasis. (p. 34) 

Impairment of sympathetic and neural function has been claimed in cholesterol-fed animals (Panek et al., 1985). It has also been suggested that surgical sympathectomy may be useful in controlling atherosclerosis in certain arterial beds (Lichter et al., 1987). Defective cholinergic arteriolar vasodilation has been claimed in atherosclerotic rabbits (Yamamoto et al., 1988) and, in our laboratory, we have recently shown impairment of response to perivascular nerves supplying the mesenteric, hepatic, and ear arteries of Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits (Burnstock et al., 1991). 
   Loss of adrenergic innervation has been reported in alcoholism (Low et al., 1975), amyloidosis (Rubenstein et al., 1983), orthostatic hypotension (Bannister et al., 1981), and subarachnoid haemorrhage (Hara and Kobayashi, 1988). Recent evidence shows that there is also a loss of noradrenergic innervation of blood vessels supplying malignant, as compared to benign, human intracranial tumours (Crockard et al., 1987). (p. 14)  

Vascular Innervation and Receptor MechanismsNew    Perspectives 

Rolf Uddman
Academic Press2 Dec 2012 - Medical - 498 pages