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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 546-551

Efficacy of stellate ganglion block with an adjuvant ketamine for peripheral vascular disease of the upper limbs

Department of Anesthesia, D.Y. Patil Medical College, Kolhapur, Maharashta, India

Correspondence Address:
Kalpana R Kulkarni
1168, "Chaitanya" A-5, Takala Square, Kolhapur - 416 006, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.72645

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Stellate ganglion block (STGB) is commonly indicated in painful conditions like reflex sympathetic dystrophy, malignancies of head and neck, Reynaud's disease and vascular insufficiency of the upper limbs. The sympathetic blockade helps to relieve pain and ischaemia. Diagnostic STGB is usually performed with local anaesthetics followed by therapeutic blockade with steroids, neurolytic agents or radiofrequency ablation of ganglion. There is increasing popularity and evidence for the use of adjuvants like opioid, clonidine and N Methyl d Aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist - ketamine - for the regional and neuroaxial blocks. The action of ketamine with sympatholytic block is through blockade of peripherally located NMDA receptors that are the target in the management of neuropathic pain, with the added benefit of counteracting the "wind-up" phenomena of chronic pain. We studied ketamine as an adjuvant to the local anaesthetic for STGB in 20 cases of peripheral vascular disease of upper limbs during the last 5 years at our institution. STGB was given for 2 days with 2 ml of 2% lignocaine + 8 ml of 0.25% bupivacaine, followed by block with the addition of 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine for three consecutive days. There was significant pain relief of longer duration with significant rise in hand temperature. We also observed complete healing of the gangrenous fingers in 17/19 patients.

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