Stellate ganglion blockade for the treatment of refractory ventricular arrhythmias: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)

INTRODUCTION: Treatment refractory ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) are often driven and exacerbated by heightened sympathetic tone. We aim to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies of a temporary percutaneous stellate ganglion block (SGB) on VA burden and defibrillation episodes in patients with treatment refractory VAs. METHODS: Relevant studies from January 1960 through May 2017 were identified in PubMed and Google Scholar. We performed a patient-level analysis using Student's t-test to compare outcomes before and after SGB. RESULTS: We identified 22 unique case series with a total of 35 patients. Patients were 57 ± 17 years old and 69% were males with a high burden of VA. A unilateral (left)-sided SGB was used in 85.7% (30 of 35) of cases and the remaining were bilateral SGB. The use of a unilateral or bilateral SGB resulted in a significant reduction of VA episodes (24-hours pre: mean 16.5 [CI 9.7-23.1] events vs. post: mean 1.4 [CI 0.85-2.01] events; P = 0.0002) and need for defibrillation (24-hours pre: mean 14.2 [CI 6.8-21.6] vs. post: mean 0.6 [CI 0.3-0.9]; P = 0.0026). Furthermore, SGB was significantly associated with a reduction of VA burden regardless of etiology of cardiomyopathy, type of ventricular rhythm, and degree of contractile dysfunction. SGB was followed by surgical sympathectomy in 21% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: Early experience suggests that SGB is associated with an acute reduction in the VA burden and offers potential promise for a broader use in high-risk populations. Randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of this therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fudim, M; Boortz-Marx, R; Ganesh, A; Waldron, NH; Qadri, YJ; Patel, CB; Milano, CA; Sun, AY; Mathew, JP; Piccini, JP

Published Date

  • December 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1460 - 1467

PubMed ID

  • 28833780

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-8167

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jce.13324


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States