The aim of the study reported by Berendes et al1 was to protect the heart against perioperative stress during coronary artery grafting by temporary high thoracic epidural anesthesia. Surgical sympathetic denervation of the heart by resection of the preaortic plexus was suggested by Arnulf2 in 1939 in an effort to improve the clinical status of patients with angina and coronary artery disease.
Vrána M, Vránová Z. Sympathetic Denervation of the Heart in Reconstructive Surgery of the Coronary Vessels. Arch Surg. 2004;139(8):913. doi:10.1001/archsurg.139.8.913-a