Stellate ganglion block (SGB) is performed to relieve head, face, neck, or upper limb pain, and several non-pain indications for performing this block have emerged over the years. To date, there has been no attempt to synthesize evidence on SGB for treating non-pain indications. This scoping review presents a summary of the efficacy and adverse effects of SGB when performed for 6 non-pain indications.
This scoping review was accomplished through the use of Arksey and O’Malley framework. A literature search was conducted for relevant articles in medical databases to identify publications on SGB and specified study types. Two reviewers independently assessed the risk of bias for randomized controlled trials, nonrandomized comparative studies, and case series. Results were summarized and recommendations were made on the basis of the strength of the available evidence according to the US Preventative Services Task Force grading system.
Twenty-four studies (19 randomized controlled trials and 5 nonrandomized studies) were included in this review. On the basis of the evidence, SGB is recommended for obtunding cardiovascular sympathetic stimulation, improving perfusion in limbs, and alleviating menopausal symptoms with a Grade B or C recommendation and a moderate-to-low level of certainty. There was insufficient evidence to recommend SGB for the other indications.
SGB can be considered for obtunding cardiovascular sympathetic stimulation and stress response, reducing vascular tone to improve vascular insufficiency in the limbs and perioperative hemodynamic stability, and alleviating hot flashes in menopause, in conditions refractory to conventional medical management.