Research Article

Pain due to lesions of central nervous system removed by sympathetic block.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 28 March 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:1026
  1. L Loh,
  2. P W Nathan,
  3. G D Schott


    Eight patients were studied in whom a lesion within the central nervous system caused constant pain and hyperpathia. Blockade of the sympathetic supply to the periphery was carried out in each patient by stellate ganglion block or intravenous infusion of guanethidine 15 mg in 30 ml saline into a limb on the affected side. On almost every occasion the pain and hypersensitivity were reduced, sometimes completely. Thus chronic pain and hyperpathia arising from a lesion in the central nervous system may be abolished by blocking the sympathetic supply to the periphery; this effect may be achieved when not all the peripheral nerves of the affected region have had their sympathetic nerve supply blocked. Such blockade may be worth repeating in the hope of achieving lasting relief of the intractable pain.