Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) as a Novel Treatment for Long COVID Symptoms

Exploring Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) as a Novel Treatment for Long COVID Symptoms

Patients with persistent and varied symptoms of Long COVID experienced significant improvement following the application of Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB). This intervention provides a unique insight, suggesting that dysautonomia plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of Long COVID, presenting a potential new avenue for treatment.

1. Introduction – Unraveling Long COVID

The aftermath of the global pandemic instigated by SARS-CoV-2 has left a mark on healthcare. Notably, the pervasive persistence of a myriad of symptoms, colloquially known as “Long COVID” or scientifically termed Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), affects a considerable proportion of both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals’ post-recovery. The lasting effects, spanning fatigue, orthostatic intolerance, and neurological disruptions, mirror the manifestations of “sickness behavior” tied to the autonomic nervous system’s response to pro-inflammatory cytokines.

2. Comprehensive Review of Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) in Medical Practice

2.1. Historical and Current Applications of SGB

In an overview, the stellate ganglion block (SGB) has been utilized since the 1930s to alleviate various conditions, such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the upper limbs. Its proficiency in mitigating sympathetic tone and enhancing blood flow has proven instrumental in treating distinct medical conditions, from Raynaud’s phenomenon and hyperhidrosis to more recent applications like post-traumatic stress disorder and cardiac arrhythmia.

2.2. Elucidating the Mechanisms of SGB

Although the mechanistic underpinnings behind the lasting central nervous system effects of SGB remain nebulous, its continued exploration in varied medical scenarios underscores the imperative for deeper investigation and potential validation as a broad-spectrum therapeutic approach.

3. Discussion: Navigating through Long COVID and the SGB Therapeutic Perspective

3.1. Long COVID, Dysautonomia, and Immune Response

The Long COVID symptomatology, intertwined with dysautonomia. Here, the focus zeroes in on SGB’s responsive nature to this condition, illuminating its potential to recalibrate the autonomic nervous system and provide a resemblance of pre-COVID homeostasis.

3.2. Bridging Long COVID Symptoms with Autonomic Nervous System Modulation

The interconnectedness of the vagus nerve, catecholamines, and cytokines with the brainstem crafts behavioral responses that coincide significantly with Long COVID symptoms. Chronic sympathetic hyperactivity may incite neuronal adaptations, reflecting persistent dysautonomia, which is posited to be ameliorated by SGB through diverse mechanisms – from cerebral and regional blood flow enhancement to a comprehensive “rebooting” of the autonomic nervous system.

3.3. The Interplay of Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF) with Long COVID

Disrupted CBF (cerebral blood flow), when juxtaposed with dysautonomia syndromes unfolds an intriguing parallel. Given that SGB has been shown to elevate CBF (cerebral blood flow),  the provision of luxury perfusion could ameliorate symptoms associated with impaired CBF.

4. Synopsis of the Observations

In a detailed observation, patients subjected to bilateral local anesthetic blockade of the cervical sympathetic chain through SGB (stellate ganglion block), showed a noticeable alleviation in symptom severity, pointing towards a sympathetically mediated process that might underpin the chronicity of their symptoms.

5. Conclusion and Future Directions

SGB (stellate ganglion block), boasting a well-documented safety profile and a rich history of application across various sympathetically mediated conditions, showcases an innovative and promising therapeutic approach for Long COVID. The lack of effective treatments for this complex, post-viral syndrome augments the appeal of SGB, marking it as a deserving candidate for extensive future research and potentially illuminating a pathway to mitigate the chronic suffering encountered by numerous individuals in the wake of the pandemic.

Call Us Today: 201-894-1313

Long COVID, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dysautonomia, Stellate Ganglion Block, Cerebral Blood Flow

For additional information, please call or text:
Dariusz Nasiek, MD: tel. 201-894-1313, SMS: 973-773-7730
Allied Neurology & Interventional Pain Practice
Englewood Office: 185 Grand Ave. Englewood, NJ 07631
[email protected]


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Dr. Nasiek specializes in Interventional Pain, identifying the source of pain and providing solutions with expertise in anesthesiology and Interventional Pain Practice.