Fundamental facts concerning the anatomy and the physiology of the sympathetic nervous system lay dormant for many decades. At the end of the nineteenth century, several attempts were made to influence the course of epilepsy, exophthalmic goiter and glaucoma by interrupting or excising parts of the cervical sympathetic chain. These efforts had been almost forgotten, owing to the poor results achieved, when, in 1916, Jonnesco attracted the attention of the medical world by performing cervical sympathectomy for angina pectoris. The interest in the removal of the sympathetic influence was greatly quickened by Leriche's work on periarterial sympathectomy, which he first employed in 1917 in the treatment for causalgia and in subsequent years for other conditions attributed to vasomotor disturbances. The eradication of visceral pain by interrupting sympathetic impulses, either temporarily as a diagnostic measure or permanently at operation, further attracted attention in recent years to this system. This interest, however,
SCOTT WJM, MORTON JJ. SYMPATHETIC ACTIVITY IN CERTAIN DISEASES, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE PERIPHERAL CIRCULATION. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1931;48(6):1065–1097. doi:10.1001/archinte.1931.00150070003001
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