Background: Inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST) remains a clinical challenge because patients often are highly symptomatic and not responsive to medical therapy. Objective: To study the safety and efficacy of stellate ganglion (SG) block and cardiac sympathetic denervation (CSD) in patients with IST. Methods: Twelve consecutive patients who had drug-refractory IST (10 women) were studied. According to a prospectively initiated protocol, five patients underwent an electrophysiologic study before and after SG block (electrophysiology study group). The subsequent seven patients had ambulatory Holter monitoring before and after SG block (ambulatory group). All patients underwent SG block on the right side first, and then on the left side. Selected patients who had heart rate reduction ≥15 beats per minute (bpm) were recommended to consider CSD. Results: The mean (SD) baseline heart rate (HR) was 106 (21) bpm. The HR significantly decreased to 93 (20) bpm (P =.02) at 10 minutes after right SG block and remained significantly slower at 97(19) bpm at 60 minutes. Left SG block reduced HR from 99 (21) to 87(16) bpm (P =.02) at 60 minutes. SG block had no significant effect on blood pressure or HR response to isoproterenol or exercise (all P >.05). Five patients underwent right (n = 4) or bilateral (n = 1) CSD. The clinical outcomes were heterogeneous: one patient had complete and two had partial symptomatic relief, and two did not have improvement. Conclusion: SG blockade modestly reduces resting HR but has no significant effect on HR during exercise. Permanent CSD may have a modest role in alleviating symptoms in selected patients with IST.
- cardiac sympathetic denervation
- heart rate
- inappropriate sinus tachycardia
- stellate ganglion blockade
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)