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Thoracic Sympathectomy for Refractory Chest Pain: A Case Report

Blaufuss, Gregory S. MD; Patel, Trusharth A. MD

doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000000997
Case Reports
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Pericarditis is a source of chest pain that can be chronic and debilitating. We describe a patient diagnosed with pericarditis with chest pain refractory to medical management. This pain was significantly relieved by a left stellate ganglion block, and a subsequent thoracic chain sympathectomy resulted in 3 months of gradually diminishing relief. Possible reasons for this result may include incomplete transection, a significant contribution of pain signaling from the phrenic and/or vagus nerve, or nerve regeneration. Literature describing these interventional techniques for pericardial pain is sparse, and more research is needed to determine their efficacy in refractory pericardial pain.

From the Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Accepted for publication February 4, 2019.

Funding: None.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to Trusharth A. Patel, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1364 Clifton RD NE, Atlanta, GA 30322. Address e-mail to trusharth.patel@emory.edu.

Copyright © 2019 International Anesthesia Research Society
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