Background Thoracic sympathetic ganglion block (TSGB) is a procedure to manage sympathetically maintained upper extremity pain (sympathetically maintained pain). To date, only a few studies have evaluated the clinical effectiveness of TSGB in pain medicine. This study investigated (1) the relationship between technical success of TSGB and pain reduction in patients with chronic upper extremity pain and (2) relevant clinical factors for a positive TSGB outcome.
Methods We retrospectively reviewed medical data in 232 patients who received TSGB from 2004 to 2020. Technical success and a positive outcome of TSGB were defined as a temperature increase of ≥1.5°C at 20 min and a pain reduction with ≥2 points on the 11-point Numerical Rating Scale at 2 weeks post-TSGB, respectively. Correlations were assessed using correlation coefficients (R), and multivariable regression model was used to identify factors relevant to TSGB outcomes.
Results 207 patients were ultimately analyzed; among them, 115 (55.5%) patients positively responded to TSGB, and 139 (67.1%) achieved technical success after TSGB. No significant relationship existed between the pain reduction and the temperature increase after TSGB (R=0.013, p=0.855). Comorbid diabetes (OR 4.200) and adjuvant intake (OR 3.451) were positively associated, and psychiatric comorbidity (OR 0.327) and pain duration (OR 0.973) were negatively associated with TSGB outcome.
Conclusions We found no significant association between the temperature increase and pain reduction after TSGB. Further studies are warranted to identify significant factors associated with TSGB outcomes in patients with complex regional pain syndrome and neuropathic pain diseases.
- Upper Extremity
- Complex Regional Pain Syndromes
- CHRONIC PAIN
- Nerve Block
- Treatment Outcome
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request.
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Contributors Study design/planning: JYM, JK and YY. Acquisition of data: JK, MY, MFP and JHJ. Data analysis: JYM and JK. Writing the paper: JYM, JK and AHH.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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