Stellate ganglion blockade-techniques and modalities.
Ghai A, et al. Acta Anaesthesiol Belg. 2016.
Stellate ganglion block (SGB) is utilized in the diagnosis and management of various vascular disorders and sympathetically mediated pain in upper extremity, head and neck. The stellate ganglion lies medial to the scalene muscles, lateral to longus coli muscle, esophagus, trachea and recurrent laryngeal nerve, anterior to C7 transverse process and prevertebral fascia, superior to the subclavian artery and posterior to vertebral vessels.
Consequently, inadvertent placement of the needle tip into these soft tissues and vessels occur with blind technique. Henceforth, various interventional modalities are being used for SGB, these have been reviewed in this paper. Various techniques of SGB have been described, and vary from the use of standard blind technique to the use of fluoroscopy, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radio nucleotide tracers. However, these techniques may not be practical in a clinical setting, insofar as they are time consuming, costly, and may involve radiation exposure.
The use of fluoroscopy does not visualize the blood vessels close to the stellate ganglion. Ultrasounds are the alternative. They help in visualization of soft tissues to prevent complications and help in deposition of drug subfascially, under direct visual control.