Annals of Cardiac Anaesthesia Annals of Cardiac Anaesthesia Annals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
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Table of Contents
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 612
Thoracic sympathectomy radiofrequency ablation

Pain Medicine Team: Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication1-Oct-2015

How to cite this article:
Jain AK, Gupta R. Thoracic sympathectomy radiofrequency ablation. Ann Card Anaesth 2015;18:612

How to cite this URL:
Jain AK, Gupta R. Thoracic sympathectomy radiofrequency ablation. Ann Card Anaesth [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Nov 29];18:612. Available from:

   Indications for thoracic sympathectomy radiofrequency ablation Top

  • Cardiac arrhythmias: including:-
  • Jervell/Lang/Nielson Syndrome and
  • Ramano/Ward idiopathic long Q-T syndrome.
  • Ischemic cardiac pain

   The procedure Top

  • The C-arm image intensifier should lie in the postero-anterior plane to identify the body of T2 vertebrae. [Figure 1] A&B)
  • C-arm is rotated 10-15 degrees cranio-caudal to square the upper thoracic vertebral bodies, following which the c-arm is rotated 20 degrees ipsilateral oblique to get a good delineation of the costo-vertebral angle. [Figure 2] A &B)
  • The entry point should be lateral border of the lower part of the body of T2, just above the head of the third rib.
  • Use a 25G needle to infiltrate the superficial tissues and then inset the 22G, 10cm curved needle with 10 mm active tip needs advanced in tunnel vision keeping it as close as possible to the lateral border of T2 to reduce the risk of pneumothorax. [Figure 3] A &B)
  • The depth is confirmed in the lateral x-rays. Advance the needle till it reaches halfway along the side of the body.
  • Inject 1.5-2 ml contrast Omnipaque 240, which should freely flow cranially and caudally. [Figure 4]
  • Once the needle is in correct position, replace the RF needle stiletto with thermocouple electrode and apply sensory stimulation at Frequency: 50Hz and Voltage: 0.4-0.6 V.
  • Also to rule out stimulation of the intercostals nerves must do a motor stimulation at Frequency: 2 Hz and Voltage: double the sensory but at least 1 V [Figure 5]
  • This is followed by a conventional RF at lesion 80 degrees for 90 seconds two such lesions are done at each level.
Figure 1:

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Figure 2:

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Figure 3:

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Figure 4:

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Figure 5:

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   Side effects Top

  • Beware of pneumothorax, for whose management all facilities should be available at the centers. A chest x-ray post procedure to rule out pneumothorax is essential.

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ashu Kumar Jain
Pain Medicine Team: Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9784.166488

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]