Effects of stellate ganglion stimulation on bilateral cochlear blood flow

Tianying Ren, Esa Laurikainen, Josef M. Miller, Alfred L. Nuttall, Wayne S. Quirk, Tianying Ren, Esa Laurikainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The effect of intraneural electrical stimulation of the stellate ganglion (SG) on bilateral cochlear blood flow (CBF) was investigated with laser-Doppler flowmetry. The SG of 15 anesthetized guinea pigs was exposed by a novel surgical approach and stimulated with a specially designed intraneural bipolar platinum-iridium electrode. Bilateral CBF was continuously monitored. Stimulation of 0.25 mA caused a detectable increase of the systemic blood pressure (BP) and a bilateral decrease of the cochlear vascular conductance (R, defined as the ratio CBF/BP). A stimulus of 0.5 mA elicited a statistically significant ipsilateral CBF (CBFi) decrease of 3.6% ± 5.1% from the baseline and a contralateral CBF (CBFc) decrease of 3.1% ± 5.5%. That no statistical difference was found between CBFi and CBFc indicates that a unilateral sympathetic stimulation of the SG can cause equal bilateral responses. These responses were accompanied by a significantly increased BP (8.7% ± 5.2% of baseline) and consequently a greatly decreased R (12.2% ± 6.5%) of the ipsilateral cochlea. Bilateral sections of the cervical sympathetic trunk below the level of the superior cervical ganglion did not alter the evoked changes in CBF, BP, and R. It is concluded that SG stimulation can decrease the conductivity of the cochlear vessels or the supplying vessels of the cochlea. Additionally, the SG nerve fibers that cause these effects do not pass through the superior cervical ganglion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • cochlear blood flow
  • guinea pig
  • laser-Doppler flowmetry
  • sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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