Impact of Stellate Ganglion Block on Tissue Blood Flow/Oxygenation and Postoperative Mandibular Nerve Hypoesthesia: A Cohort Study

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2022 Feb;80(2):266.e1-266.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2021.08.161. Epub 2021 Aug 28.


Purpose: Although a stellate ganglion block (SGB) increases tissue blood flow in the mandibular region, the change in tissue oxygenation after SGB and therapeutic effect of SGB for postoperative mandibular nerve hypoesthesia remain to be established. The study aim was to measure the change in tissue oxygenation in the mandibular region after SGB.

Methods: To determine the variation in tissue oxygenation in the mandibular region, the tissue oxygen index (TOI; percentage of oxygenated hemoglobin in the total hemoglobin) was measured at the skin near the mental foramen bilaterally, at the primary site of unilateral SGB, achieved using 6 mL of 1% lidocaine hydrochloride, for the treatment of bilateral postoperative mandibular nerve injury. The primary outcome of this study is the temporal variation in TOI after SGB (0.5, 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 minutes after SGB), and the control group in this study is the TOI at the end of SGB injection (0 minute). All data are expressed as the mean ± standard deviation and 95% confidence interval (CI). Repeated-measures analysis of variance with Dunnett's test was used to determine parametric statistical significance. A P-value <.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Thirteen patients were enrolled in this study. On both the blocked and contralateral side, the TOI was significantly increased compared to that before SGB (ΔTOI at 15 minute after SGB, 5.87 ± 2.89%, P < .001, 95% CI: 4.122 to 7.617% in the blocked side, 1.88 ± 2.73%, P = .005, 95% CI: 1.877 to 2.725% in the contralateral side).

Conclusions: Unilateral SGB using 6 mL of 1% lidocaine hydrochloride results in an increase in tissue oxygenation in the mandibular region. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that a series of SGBs may contribute to a more rapid recovery of postoperative trigeminal nerve injury.

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nerve Block* / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypesthesia
  • Mandibular Nerve
  • Stellate Ganglion* / physiology