Effects of stepwise denervation of the stellate ganglion: Novel insights from an acute canine study

Gang Wu, Christopher V. Desimone, Scott H. Suddendorf, Roshini S. Asirvatham, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Congxin Huang, Peng Sheng Chen, Yong Mei Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background The stellate ganglion (SG) is important for cardiac autonomic control. SG modification is an option for treating refractory ventricular tachyarrhythmias. The optimal extent of left- and right-sided SG denervation necessary for antiarrhythmic effect, however, remains to be learned. Objective The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of stepwise SG denervation on hemodynamic and electrophysiological parameters in dogs. Methods After sequential left and right thoracotomy in 8 healthy dogs, the SG was exposed by dissection. Two pacing wires were placed in the upper SG to deliver high-frequency stimulation. The lower SG, ansae subclaviae, and upper SG were removed in a stepwise manner. The same protocol was performed on the right side. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate, and electrophysiological parameters were recorded at baseline and after 5 minutes of stimulation. Results Systolic and diastolic BP significantly increased during stimulation of the upper left SG. The mean increase in systolic BP from baseline was 49.4 ± 26.6 mm Hg (P =.007), 25.5 ± 14.1 mm Hg after the lower SG was removed (P =.02), and 8.6 ± 3.4 mm Hg after resection of the ipsilateral ansae subclaviae (P =.048). Heart rate and other electrophysiological parameters did not change significantly. After the complete removal of the left SG, systolic BP increased by 34.0 ± 17.6 mm Hg (P =.005) after stimulation of the right SG. Conclusion Sympathetic output remains after the lower SG is removed, and sympathetic output from the right SG remains after the complete resection of the left SG and ansae subclaviae. Thus, some patients who undergo left SG denervation can still have significant sympathetic response via right SG regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1395-1401
Number of pages7
JournalHeart rhythm
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Ansa subclavia
  • Canine
  • Cardiac sympathetic denervation
  • Stellate ganglion
  • Vagal trunk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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