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

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sympathectomy: a neurocardiologic disorder

Bilateral thoracic sympathectomies or sympathotomies are done for refractory palmar hyperhidrosis [85–87]. Iontophoresis, botulinum toxin injection, and glycopyrrolate cream are alternatives. Because sweating is mediated mainly by sympathetic cholinergic fibers, autonomic neurosurgery is usually effective; however, a variety of expected and unexpected consequences can result, including ectopic (e.g., plantar) hyperhidrosis, gustatory sweating, Horner syndrome, and decreased heart rate responses to exercise. The latter seems to be related to partial cardiac denervation [88]. Anecdotally, fatigue, altered mood, blunted emotion, and decreased ability to concentrate can develop after bilateral thoracic sympathectomies. 
β-Adrenoceptor blockers are a mainstay of treatment for CPVT. An automated defibrillator may have to be implanted. Treatment for CPVT also includes left sympathectomy. Such treatment leaves open the theoretical possibilities of denervation supersensitivity of cardiac adrenoceptors and compensatory activation of the adrenomedullary hormonal system; however, plasma levels of catecholamines have not been assessed in CPVT with or without therapeutic cardiac denervation.

Table 1. Neurocardiologic disorders that feature abnormal catecholaminergic function
Disorders where abnormal catecholaminergic function is etiologic Hypofunctional states without central neurodegeneration
Acute, primary
Neurocardiogenic syncope Spinal cord transection Acute pandysautonomia Sympathectomy
Acute, secondary
Drug-related (e.g., alcohol, tricyclic antidepressant, chemotherapy, opiate, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, sympatholytics, general anesthesia)
Guillain–Barre syndrome Alcohol
Chronic, primary
Pure autonomic failure
Horner's syndrome
Familial dysautonomia
Carotid sinus syncope
Adie's syndrome Dopamine-β-hydroxylase deficiency

Thursday, July 30, 2015

the clinical results of both surgical and neurolityc sympathectomy are uncertain

However, the clinical results of both surgical and neurolityc sympathectomy are uncertain. Indeed these procedures lead to a redistribution of the blood flow in the lower limbs from the muscle to the skin, with a concomitant fall of the regional resistance, mainly in undamaged vessels. The blood flow will be diverted into this part of the vascular tree, so that a "stealing" of the blood flow may occur.
Vito A. Peduto, Giancarlo Boero, Antonio Marchi, Riccardo Tani
Bilateral extensive skin necrosis of the lower limbs following prolonged epidural blockade

Anaesthesia 1976; 31: 1068-75.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

sympathectomy created imbalance of autonomic activity and functional changes of the intrathoracic organs

Surgical thoracic sympathectomy such as ESD (endoscopic thoracic sympathectic denervation) or heart transplantation can result in an imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities and result in functional changes in the intrathoracic organs.

Therefore, the procedures affecting sympathetic nerve functions, such as epidural anesthesia, ESD, and heart transplantation, may cause an imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic activities (1, 6, 16, 17). Recently, it has been reported that ESD results in functional changes of the intrathoracic organs.

In conclusion, our study demonstrated that ESD adversely affected lung function early after surgery and the BHR was affected by an imbalance of autonomic activity created by bilateral ESD in patients with primary focal hyperhidrosis.
Journal of Asthma, 46:276–279, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Middle cerebral artery blood velocity during exercise with beta-1 adrenergic and unilateral stellate ganglion blockade in humans

 2000 Sep;170(1):33-8.

Middle cerebral artery blood velocity during exercise with beta-1 adrenergic and unilateral stellate ganglion blockade in humans.


A reduced ability to increase cardiac output (CO) during exercise limits blood flow by vasoconstriction even in active skeletal muscle. Such a flow limitation may also take place in the brain as an increase in the transcranial Doppler determined middle cerebral artery blood velocity (MCA V(mean)) is attenuated during cycling with beta-1 adrenergic blockade and in patients with heart insufficiency. We studied whether sympathetic blockade at the level of the neck (0.1% lidocaine; 8 mL; n=8) affects the attenuated exercise - MCA V(mean following cardio-selective beta-1 adrenergic blockade (0.15 mg kg(-1) metoprolol i.v.) during cycling. Cardiac output determined by indocyanine green dye dilution, heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and MCA V(mean) were obtained during moderate intensity cycling before and after pharmacological intervention. During control cycling the right and left MCA V(mean) increased to the same extent (11.4 +/- 1.9 vs. 11.1 +/- 1.9 cm s(-1)). With the pharmacological intervention the exercise CO (10 +/- 1 vs. 12 +/- 1 L min(-1); n=5), HR (115 +/- 4 vs. 134 +/- 4 beats min(-1)) and delta MCA V(mean) (8.7 +/- 2.2 vs. 11.4 +/- 1.9 cm s(-1) were reduced, and MAP was increased (100 +/- 5 vs. 86 +/- 2 mmHg; P < 0.05). However, sympathetic blockade at the level of the neck eliminated the beta-1 blockade induced attenuation in delta MCA V(mean) (10.2 +/- 2.5 cm s(-1)). These results indicate that a reduced ability to increase CO during exercise limits blood flow to a vital organ like the brain and that this flow limitation is likely to be by way of the sympathetic nervous system.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sympathectomy at the level of the T2 ganglion leads to decreased negative feedback to the hypothalamus

Compensatory sweating was originally thought to be a mechanism of excessive sweating (in an anatomical region with an intact sympathetic nervous system) to maintain a constant rate of total sweat secretion.90 However, this theory was not confirmed by other studies, demonstrating that compensatory sweating represented a reflex action by an altered feedback mechanism at the level of the hypothalamus which is dependent on the level at which sympathetic denervation occurs. Sympathectomy at the level of the T2 ganglion leads to decreased negative feedback to the hypothalamus. When performing a sympathectomy at a lower level, the negative feedback to the hypothalamus is less inhibited, leading to a decrease in compensatory sweating. Chou et al.91 have proposed the term ‘reflex sweating’ to replace compensatory sweating. Other side effects described in a review article by Dumont89 are gustatory sweating, cardiac effects, phantom sweating, lung function changes, dry hands and altered taste. Besides these side effects there are significant risks of complications during and after surgery (arterial or venous vascular injury, pneumothorax, infection, Horner syndrome etc.).

JEADV 2012, 26, 1–8 Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

Saturday, January 17, 2015

peripheral sympathectomy causes a dramatic increase in NGF levels in the denervated organs

Increased Nerve Growth Factor Messenger RNA and Protein

Peripheral NGF mRNA and protein levels following
It has been shown previously that peripheral sympathectomy
causes a dramatic increase in NGF levels in the denervated
 (Yap et al., 1984; Kanakis et al., 1985; Korsching and
Thoenen, 1985).
Increased ,&Nerve Growth Factor Messenger RNA and Protein
Levels in Neonatal Rat Hippocampus Following Specific Cholinergic
Scott R. Whittemore,” Lena Liirkfors,’ Ted Ebendal,’ Vicky R. Holets, 2,a Anders Ericsson, and HBkan Persson
Departments of Medical Genetics and’ Zoology, Uppsala University, S-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden, and *Department of

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Compensatory sweating is not compensatory

Does compensatory sweating only happen to hyperhidrosis patients who underwent ETS?

The exact reason for compensatory sweating is yet to be determined. There are some physiological explanations for that but none are yet completely proven. The reason for this statement is that compensatory sweating happens in a mild, moderate or a higher level of sweating. The fact that not everyone responds in the same way to the hyperhidrosis operation points to the unknown nature of this problem. More than that patients who underwent thoracic sympathectomy for reasons OTHER than hyperhidrosis also develop compensatory sweating in different intensities. This last statement shows that compensatory sweating happens to both hyperhidrosis patients and non-hyperhidrosis patients who have undergone the surgery.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sympathectomy reduces emotional, stress-induced sweating indicating that it affects the stress-response

"...for reasons that are not obvious, many patients with facial hyperhidrosis and hyperhidrosis of the feet will benefit from upper thoracic sympathectomy. " 

(The Journal of Pain, Vol 1, No 4 (Winter), 2000: pp 261-264)

"Bilateral upper thoracic sympathicolysis is followed by redistribution of body perspiration, with a clear decrease in the zones regulated by mental or emotional stimuli, and an increase in the areas regulated by environmental stimuli, though we are unable to establish the etiology of this redistribution." 

(Surg Endosc. 2007 Nov;21(11):2030-3. Epub 2007 Mar 13.) 

"Palmar hyperhidrosis of clinical severity is a hallmark physical sign of many anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and especially social phobia.4 These are increasingly well understood and highly treatable neurobiological conditions. They are mod- erately heritable hard-wired fear responses,5 and are linked to amygdalar and locus coeruleus hyper-reactivity during psycho- social stress.6,7 Anxiety disorders are known to be much more common among women. This is consistent with the finding of Krogstad et al. that among controls sweating was reported more often by men, while among the hyperhidrosis group sweating was reported more often among women."

"A surgical treatment for anxiety-triggered palmar hyperhidrosis is not unlike treating tearfulness in major depression by severing the nerves to the lacrimal glands. We have recently made a similar argument advocating a psychopharmacological, rather then a surgi- cal, first-line treatment for blushing.9" 
(Journal Compilation - 2006 British Association of Dermatologists - British Journal of Dermatology 2006, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2006.07547.x)

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)."