Bilateral sphenopalatine ganglion block reduces blood pressure in never treated patients with essential hypertension. A randomized controlled single-blinded study

Int J Cardiol. 2018 Jan 1:250:233-239. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.10.042. Epub 2017 Oct 16.


Background: Sympathetic fibers connect sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) with the central nervous system. We aimed to study the effect of SPG block in blood pressure (BP) in never treated patients with stage I-II essential hypertension.

Methods: We performed bilateral SPG block with lidocaine 2% in 33 hypertensive patients (mean age 48±12years, 24 men) and a sham operation with water for injection in 11 patients who served as the control group (mean age 51±12years, 8 men). All patients have been subjected to 24h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring prior and a month after the SBG block in order to estimate any differences in blood pressure parameters. We defined as responders to SBG block those patients with a 24h SBP decrease ≥5mmHg.

Results: We found that 24h and daytime DBP (p=0.02) as well as daytime DBP load (p=0.03) were decreased in the study group a month after SPG block. In addition, a significant response was noted in 12/33 responders (36%) regarding: a. SBP and DBP during overall 24h and daytime (p<0.001) and night-time periods, b. pre-awake and early morning SBP and c. SBP (daytime and night-time) and DBP (daytime) load. No differences regarding BP were found in the sham operation group.

Conclusions: SPG block is a promising, minimally invasive option of BP decrease in hypertensives, probably through SNS modulation. Additionally, due to its anesthetic effect, SPG block might act as a method of selection for those hypertensive patients with an activated SNS before any other invasive antihypertensive procedure.

Keywords: 24h blood pressure measurement (24h ABPM); Arterial hypertension; Neural block; Sphenopalatine ganglion.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Essential Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Essential Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Essential Hypertension / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block / methods*


  • Lidocaine