Stellate Ganglion Blockade Cuts Menopause Symptoms
Nerve blockage with bupivacaine cuts frequency of moderate to very severe vasomotor symptoms
FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women, stellate ganglion blockade (SGB) significantly reduces objective measures of vasomotor symptoms (VMS), according to a study published online Feb. 3 in Menopause.
David R. Walega, M.D., from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues randomized 40 postmenopausal women (aged 30 to 70 years) with moderate to severe VMS to image-guided SGB (performed with 5 mL of 0.5 percent bupivacaine) or sham injection of saline to the subcutaneous neck tissues. VMS were noted at baseline and for six months. Ambulatory sternal skin conductance monitoring was used to measure objective VMS over a 24-hour period at baseline and on three-month follow-up.
The researchers found that, while there were no significant between-group differences in overall VMS frequency, in the active group, there was a greater reduction in the frequency of moderate to very severe VMS compared with the sham treatment group (event rate ratio, 0.50; P < 0.001). In the SGB group, the frequency of objective VMS was further reduced compared with the sham group (event rate ratio, 0.71; P < 0.05). No study-related serious adverse events were reported.
"SGB may provide effective treatment of VMS in women who seek nonhormonal treatments because of safety concerns and personal preference," the authors write. "The finding that SGB significantly reduces objectively measured VMS provides further evidence of efficacy."
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.