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April 1950

POSTOPERATIVE SWEATING PATTERNS IN THORACOLUMBAR SYMPATHECTOMY AND SPLANCHNICECTOMY

Author Affiliations

DES MOINES, IOWA

From the Department of Surgery (Drs. Palumbo, Hohf and Burke), the Department of Physical Medicine (Dr. Samberg), Veterans Administration Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1950;63(4):569-578. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310220036002
Abstract

SINCE the advent of thoracolumbar sympathectomy as a treatment for primary hypertensive vascular disease, various tests have been used postoperatively to determine the extent of the sympathetic resection. One of the tests commonly employed is the Minor starch-iodine test, which is based on the change in color occurring when a starch-iodine mixture becomes moist with the occurrence of sweating.

The actual mechanism of sweating is not well understood. Best and Taylor1 stated that the stimulus for sweat secretion is a rise in blood temperature, which has a twofold effect: the stimulation of nerve centers in the brain and the stimulation of heat receptors in the skin, which reflexly cause the secretion. This contention has been supported by other investigators.2 With these two concepts of the mechanism of sweating in mind, i. e., direct stimulation via the sympathetic nerve fibers from the heat centers in the brain and stimulation

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