J Dent Anesth Pain Med.  2018 Apr;18(2):105-110. 10.17245/jdapm.2018.18.2.105.

Changes in blood flow at the mandibular angle and Horner syndrome in a rat model of superior cervical ganglion block

  • 1Department of Dental Anesthesiology, Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry at Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. katsu.sunada@nifty.com


A stellate ganglion block (SGB) causes increased blood flow in the maxillofacial region, exhibiting the potential for regenerative effects in damaged tissue. The focus of this study was to understand the efficacy of SGB for regenerative effects against nerve damage. A rat model of the superior cervical ganglion block (SCGB) was created instead of SGB, and facial blood flow, as well as sympathetic nervous system function, were measured.
A vertical incision was made on the left side of the neck of a Wistar rat, and a 5-mm resection of the superior cervical ganglion was performed at the back of the bifurcation of the internal and external branches of the left common carotid artery. Blood flow in the skin at the mandibular angle and mean facial temperature were measured using a laser-Doppler blood flow meter and a thermographic camera, respectively, over a 5-week period after the block. In addition, the degree of ptosis and miosis were assessed over a period of 6 months.
The SCGB rat showed significantly higher blood flow at the mandibular angle on the block side (P < 0.05) for 3 weeks, and significantly higher skin temperature (P < 0.05) for 1 week after the block. In the SCGB rat, ptosis and miosis occurred immediately after the block, and persisted even 6 months later.
SCGB in rats can cause an increase in the blood flow that persists over 3 weeks.


Horner Syndrome; Regional Blood Flow; Superior Cervical Ganglion; Thermography

MeSH Terms

Carotid Artery, Common
Horner Syndrome*
Models, Animal*
Regional Blood Flow
Skin Temperature
Stellate Ganglion
Superior Cervical Ganglion*
Sympathetic Nervous System


  • Fig. 1 Probe position of blood flow meter. Probe was put on the center of the inferior mandibular border and mandibular ramus plane angle. white circle: blood flow probe.

  • Fig. 2 Changes in blood flow. Blood flow significantly increased for 3 weeks after the block. * P<0.05: significant differences between two groups.

  • Fig. 3 Observation by thermography (front view). (A) Before Superior cervical ganglion block (SCGB) (B) One week after SCGB. Skin temperature increased on the block side (left).

  • Fig. 4 Observation by thermography (left side view). (A) Before Superior cervical ganglion block (SCGB) (B) One week after SCGB. Skin temperature increased on the block side (left).

  • Fig. 5 Changes in skin temperature. Skin temperature significantly increased for 1 week after the block. * P<0.05: significant differences between two groups.

  • Fig. 6 Horner syndrome. Ptosis appeared on the block side (left).


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