Yeungnam Univ J Med.  2018 Dec;35(2):199-204. 10.12701/yujm.2018.35.2.199.

Comparison of ultrasound-guided stellate ganglion block at 6th and 7th cervical vertebrae using the lateral paracarotid out-of-plane approach for sympathetic blockade in the upper extremity

  • 1Gajo-myeon Public Health Branch, Geochang, Korea.
  • 2KIM BUM SOO PAIN CLINIC, Ulsan, Korea.
  • 3Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


The authors have performed ultrasound-guided stellate ganglion block (SGB) in our clinic using a lateral paracarotid approach at the level of the 6th cervical vertebra (C6). Although SGB at C6 is a convenient and safe method, there are ongoing concerns about the weak effect of sympathetic blockade in the ipsilateral upper extremity. Therefore, ultrasound-guided SGB was attempted using a lateral paracarotid approach at the level of the 7th cervical vertebra (C7). This prospective study aimed to compare changes in skin temperature after SGB was performed at C6 and C7, and to introduce a lateral paracarotid approach for SGB.
Thirty patients underwent SGB twice: once at C6 and once at C7. For every SGB, the skin temperature of the patient's hypothenar area was measured for 15 min at 1-min intervals. Skin temperatures before and after SGB and side effects were compared between C6 and C7 groups.
The temperature of the upper extremity increased after SGB was performed at C6 and C7. There were significant differences between mean pre-SGB and the largest increases in post-SGB temperatures (0.50±0.38℃ and 1.41±0.68℃ at C6 and C7, respectively; p < 0.05). Significantly increased post-SGB temperatures (difference >1℃) were found in 5/30 (16.7%) and 24/30 (80%) cases for C6 and C7, respectively (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in side effects between SGB performed at C6 or C7 (p>0.05).
The lateral paracarotid approach using out-of-plane needle insertion for ultrasound-guided SGB performed at C7 was feasible and more effective at elevating skin temperature in the upper extremity than SGB at C6.


Skin temperature; Stellate ganglion; Sympathetic nerve block; Ultrasonography; Upper extremity
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