The physiologic result of cutting the sympathetic nerves is to dilate the arterioles and venules. This necessarily increases the rate of capillary flow and thus relieves edema.
It has been shown by Forbes and Wolff1 that the cerebral blood vessels are under the control of the sympathetic nervous system, and I have shown that the brain on the side on which the stellate ganglion has been removed is pink in contrast to the bluish color of the contralateral side; that the anastomosing vessels appear less numerous and that the brain gradually shrinks away from the parietes on the ipsilateral side. These phenomena are displayed when the brain has been exposed.2
The shrinkage of the brain on the ipsilateral side suggested to me that the operation of superior thoracic ganglionectomy might be used in the treatment of hydrocephalus. I treated two patients in this manner. The following is a
ROYLE ND. DRAINAGE OF CEREBROSPINAL FLUID: IN TREATMENT OF HYDROCEPHALUS, SYRINGOMYELIA AND SYRINGOBULBIA. JAMA. 1938;110(16):1264–1266. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790160022007
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: