Cardiac sympathetic denervation for refractory ventricular arrhythmias in patients with structural heart disease: A systematic review

Rushil Shah, Fabrizio Assis, Navya Alugubelli, David R. Okada, Rhanderson Cardoso, Kalyanam Shivkumar, Harikrishna Tandri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Cardiac sympathetic denervation (CSD) is an important adjunctive option for patients with refractory ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). Reports of efficacy of CSD in patients with structural heart disease (SHD) and refractory VA vary widely in literature. Objective: The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of arrhythmic outcomes and complications in patients with SHD who underwent CSD due to recurrent VAs. Methods: Electronic databases (Google Scholar and PubMed) were searched to identify reports on CSD in SHD using appropriate medical subject terms. No sample size restriction was applied. All patients with known channelopathies were excluded. Baseline demographic and surgical data, arrhythmic outcomes, and procedural complications were evaluated. Results: A total of 13 studies and 173 patients were included. Of the 173 patients (121 [70%] male); pooled mean age 54.6 [95% confidence interval 52.6–56.7] years), 48 (28%) had ischemic cardiomyopathy, and 141 (82%) underwent bilateral CSD. Overall freedom from events ranged from 58% to 100%. Complications were reported in 49 patients(28%). Transient hypotension (9%), pneumothorax (5%), neuropathic pain (skin sensitivity) (4%), Horner syndrome (3%), sweating pattern changes (3%), and hemothorax (2%) were the most common complications. No procedure-related deaths were reported. Conclusion: CSD reduced the number of VA events in patients with SHD, and the benefit from the intervention seemed to be independent of the underlying SHD. Although overall rate of postprocedural complications was high, most of the complications were temporary. Major postprocedural complications after CSD were infrequent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1499-1505
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Cardiac sympathetic denervation
  • Ischemic cardiomyopathy
  • Nonischemic cardiomyopathy
  • Refractory ventricular arrhythmias
  • Structural heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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