CT-Guided, Ethanol Sympatholysis for Primary Axillary–Palmar Hyperhidrosis

Maria Tsitskari, Gerhard Friehs, Vassilis Zerris, Christos Georgiades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Primary hyperhidrosis is an excessive sweating due to an overactive sympathetic system. Our objective was to test the feasibility and provide early data on the safety/efficacy of CT-guided sympatholysis, for primary hyperhidrosis. Materials and Methods: Nine consecutive patients with axillary–palmar hyperhidrosis were treated between 2013 and 2015. CT-guided sympathetic block was performed in the outpatients at T-2, T-3, and T-4, bilaterally using alcohol under local anesthesia. Immediate postprocedure CT was obtained to assess the complications as per Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4. Technical success and clinical success were recorded. Primary and secondary efficacy were assessed by phone and clinical visits; mean follow-up was 12 months (6–26 months). Descriptive statistics was used to report the outcomes. Results: One procedure was aborted due to eyelid ptosis after lidocaine injection. All other eight patients (5:3, F:M) (median age 32) had immediate cessation of sweating. Two major complications (pneumothorax, one requiring a chest tube) occurred. Two patients recurred with unilateral and one with bilateral symptoms. One of the unilateral recurrence and the bilateral recurrence patients was retreated successfully. Median follow-up was 1 year. No cases of Horner’s or compensatory hyperhidrosis were observed. Conclusions: CT-guided EtOH sympatholysis for axillary/palmar primary hyperhidrosis is feasible. Technical failure rate was 11 %. Primary and secondary efficacy are 75 and 94 %, respectively, to a median follow-up of 1 year. Risk profile appears favorable. Despite a small sample size, results confirm feasibility and encourage a larger study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1722-1727
Number of pages6
JournalCardiovascular and interventional radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Sympathectomy
  • Sympatholysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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