Effects of Stellate Ganglion Cryoablation on Subcutaneous Nerve Activity and Atrial Tachyarrhythmias in a Canine Model of Pacing-Induced Heart Failure

Richard S. Shelton, Masahiro Ogawa, Hongbo Lin, Changyu Shen, Johnson Wong, Shien Fong Lin, Peng Sheng Chen, Thomas H. Everett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed to test the hypothesis that subcutaneous nerve activity (SCNA) can adequately estimate the cardiac sympathetic tone and the effects of cryoablation of the stellate ganglion in dogs with pacing-induced heart failure (HF). Background: Recording of SCNA is a new method to estimate sympathetic tone in dogs. HF is known to increase sympathetic tone and atrial arrhythmias. Methods: Twelve dogs with pacing-induced HF were studied using implanted radiotransmitters to record the stellate ganglia nerve activity (SGNA), vagal nerve activity, and SCNA. Of these, 6 dogs (ablation group) underwent bilateral stellate ganglia cryoablation before the rapid ventricular pacing; the remaining 6 dogs (control group) had rapid ventricular pacing only. In both groups, SCNA was compared with SGNA and the occurrence of arrhythmias. Results: SCNA invariably increased before the 360 identified atrial tachyarrhythmia episodes in the 6 control dogs before and after HF induction. SCNA and SGNA correlated in all dogs with an average correlation coefficient of 0.64 (95% confidence interval: 0.58 to 0.70). Cryoablation of bilateral stellate ganglia significantly reduced SCNA from 0.34 ± 0.033 μV to 0.25 ± 0.028 μV (p = 0.03) and eliminated all atrial tachyarrhythmias. Conclusions: SCNA can be used to estimate cardiac sympathetic tone in dogs with pacing-induced HF. Cryoablation of the stellate ganglia reduced SCNA and arrhythmia vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-695
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018



  • arrhythmias
  • autonomic nervous system
  • heart failure
  • stellate ganglion
  • vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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