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Repeated Stellate Ganglion Blocks for Upper-Extremity Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  1. Josef K. Wang, MD,
  2. Rolland P. Erickson, MD and
  3. Duane M. Ilstrup, MS
  1. From the Departments of Anesthesiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota.


During a 3-year period, 51 patients with upperextremity reflex sympathetic dystrophy were studied. Of 20 patients managed by conservative methods, nine (45%) showed signs of improvement 3 years after onset of the syndrome. Of 31 patients treated with repeated stellate ganglion blocks, 23 (74%) had improved at the 3-year evaluation. Management of both the potential causes and the symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy is necessary. Although sympathetic blocks failed to improve all cases, they should be considered as one of the important methods for the management of reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

  • Cervicothoracic ganglion blocks
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Stellate ganglion blocks

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