Lipov, E.G., Joshi, J.R., Sanders, S., Wilcox, K., Lipov, S., Xie, H., … Slavin, K. (2008). Effects of stellate-ganglion block on hot flushes and night awakenings in survivors of breast cancer: A pilot study. Lancet Oncology, 9, 523–532.doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(08)70131-1
Researchers employed a pilot study to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a stellate-ganglion block to ameliorate hot flashes in women with breast cancer .
Anesthetic was injected at the anterolateral aspect of the C6 vertebra on the right side under fluoroscopy.
The study treated 13 breast cancer survivors who were experiencing severe hot flashes, night awakenings.
Participants recorded hot flashes in a daily diary by use of the Hot-Flash Score. Scores were recorded 1 week before the procedure and then weekly after the procedure for 12 weeks.
The total number of hot flashes decreased from 79.4 mean episodes to 49.9 in the first two weeks, and continued to decrease during the follow-up period to 8.1 per week. Night awakenings decreased from 19.5 mean episodes per week to 7.3 during treatment then to 1.4 per week during follow up. Very severe hot flash episodes decreased to near zero at follow up.
No adverse events resulting from the stellate-ganglion block were reported, although patients had temporary Horner’s syndrome indicating the effectiveness of the block.
This was a limited pilot study with a very small sample size.