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Stellate ganglion

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Nerve: Stellate ganglion
Plan of right sympathetic cord and splanchnic nerves. (Stellate ganglion not visible, but region is shown.)
Latin ganglion cervicothoracicum, ganglion stellatum
Gray's subject #
MeSH A08.340.315.350.800

The stellate ganglion (or cervicothoracic ganglion) is a ganglion formed by the fusion of inferior cervical ganglion and the first paravertebral ganglion.

The clinical significance of these ganglion is that they may be cut in order to decrease the symptoms exhibited by Raynaud's phenomenon and hyperhydrosis (extreme sweating) of the hands.

Injection of local anesthetics near the stellate ganglion can sometimes mitigate the symptoms of sympathetically mediated pain such as complex regional pain syndrome type I (reflex sympathetic dystrophy). Complications associated with a stellate ganglion block include Horner's syndrome, intra-arterial or intravenous injection, difficulty swallowing, vocal cord paralysis, epidural spread of local anaesthetic and pneumothorax.

Blunt needling of the stellate ganglion with acupuncture needle is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to decrease sympathetically mediated symptoms as well.


Stellate ganglion is located at the level of C7 (7th cervical vertebrae), anterior to the transverse process of C7, posterior to the neck of the first rib, and just below the subclavian artery.

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