Endoscopic transthoracic sympathicotomy for severe angina

Lancet. 1995 Jan 14;345(8942):97-8. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(95)90065-9.


We evaluated the antianginal effects of endoscopic transthoracic sympathicotomy (ETS) in 24 patients not eligible for coronary bypass surgery or angioplasty. In this procedure, the sympathetic chain is electrocoagulated under general anaesthesia. No major surgical complications occurred. The frequency of anginal attacks was significantly reduced (p = 0.001). The mean increase in maximum exercise capacity was 13 (SD 21) W (p = 0.009). ST depression at maximum comparable workload was reduced by 0.052 (0.10) mV (p = 0.005). Global ejection fraction during exercise and metaiodobenzylguanidine uptake were unchanged. Heart rate variability analysis showed a reduction of the ratio between low and high frequencies at tilt test (-1.00 [0.96]; p < 0.001). We conclude that ETS can be done without major complications, alleviates angina, and increases maximum working capacity in patients with advanced coronary disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / physiopathology
  • Angina Pectoris / surgery*
  • Electrocoagulation / adverse effects
  • Endoscopy*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stroke Volume
  • Sympathectomy* / adverse effects
  • Sympathectomy* / methods