Hot Flashes: Study of Local Anesthetic Nerve Block

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David Walega, MD Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.David Walega, MD
Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine
Northwestern Memorial Hospital and
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Walega: Patients who underwent a single stellate ganglion injection with a local anesthetic had a 50% decrease in moderate -to- very severe hot flashes and this effect appeared to last thru the 6 month duration of the study; the placebo or “sham control” group had injections of saline and they did not demonstrate long-term improvements in hot flash symptoms

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Walega: Yes, we did not expect to see the 6 month duration of effect in the treatment group, as bupivacaine, the local anesthetic used, only “blocks” the nerves for 6-8 hours and then wears off, so the exact mechanism of how the stellate block works to reset the thermoregulation systems in the brain is not entirely clear

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Walega: Our research shows that the stellate ganglion injections with local anesthetic may be an effective treatment option for women who suffer from severe hot flashes who have failed conservative medication management.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Walega: We would like to study this effect in a larger group and also work on identifying the exact mechanism of action in the brain.

Citation:
Abstract presented at:
2013 American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting.

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