Spinal Hyperexcitability in Sympathetically Maintained Pain

  • William J. Roberts
Part of the Current Management of Pain book series (CUMP, volume 7)


Anesthetic block of sympathetic postganglionic neurons relieves both spontaneous pain and mechanical allodynia in some individuals without blocking painful responses to noxious stimuli. A similar effect is obtained in many cases by regional infusion of guanethidine, which depletes norepinephrine from peripheral tissues. These responses to sympathetic block indicate that the pain and allodynia are sympathetically maintained--that they are dependent on sympathetic efferent activity. One syndrome characterized by sympathetically maintained pain is reflex sympathetic dystrophy.


Mechanical Allodynia Spinal Neuron Primary Afferents Sympathetic Stimulation Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Roberts

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