Thermal changes in a rabbit ear model after sympathectomy

Raymond F. Morgan, E. F.Shaw Wilgis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The long-term cutaneous thermal changes and the degree of sympathetic reinnervation of the vessels after a distal sympathectomy in an experimental model are reported. Under general anesthesia, a distal sympathectomy was performed at the proximal portion of the central artery of a rabbit ear. The contralateral ear served as a control. A dual-channel digital thermometer was used to record periodic cutaneous temperatures in identical positions on the distal third of the ears. Sympathetic reinnervation was assessed with catecholamine histolluorescence in the dead animals. A mean difference in temperature of 1.2° C (P < 0.01) was recorded 12 months after surgery. All of the sympathectomized ears maintained higher temperatures than their contralateral controls. Arterial sympathetic reinnervation 3 months after surgery was sparse and inconsistent. No increased reinnervation was noted at 12 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-124
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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