Cardiac Sympathetic Denervation for Prevention of Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias

  • End date
    Aug 31, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of California, Los Angeles
Updated on 10 September 2021
ventricular tachycardia
antiarrhythmic drug
cardiac death
sudden cardiac death


The purpose of this research study is to examine the effect of cardiac sympathetic denervation (CSD) surgery on life threatening abnormal heart rhythms called ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation that can lead to sudden cardiac death. Subjects will be asked to participate in this research study if they have recurrent ventricular tachycardia (at least one ICD shock for ventricular tachycardia) and have undergone at least one catheter ablation procedure or have ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation that is not ablatable. The goal of this study is to determine whether cardiac sympathetic denervation can prevent these abnormal heart rhythms from occurring and therefore, prevent, ICD shocks which are not only painful, but have been shown to reduce quality of life and/or lead to depression, particularly in the period immediately after the shock.


The purpose of this study is to determine if bilateral cardiac sympathetic denervation (CSD) in addition to routine care is more effective than routine care for the treatment of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) who continue to have episodes of VT despite drug therapy and when appropriate, at least one catheter ablation procedure.

The CSD procedure involves removal of part of the cervical stellate ganglia and thoracic ganglia of level 2 to 4. These ganglia house the left and right sided nerves that feed the heart and have been implicated in the occurrence of fast abnormal rhythms that cause defibrillator shocks and sudden death. Stimulation of these nerves has been shown to increase the incidence of sudden death and fast abnormal heart rhythms that lead to internal defibrillator shocks called ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation. Removal of the ganglia of these nerves in animal and human studies has been shown to decrease the incidence of life threatening abnormal rhythms and sudden death.The procedure takes less than 45 minutes on each side and can be performed endoscopically.

We are inviting patients to participate in this clinical trial who have undergone at least one catheter ablation procedure for ventricular tachycardia but have continued to experience recurrent arrhythmias (ICD shocks) or who have a type of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation that can not be treated with catheter ablation procedures. Patients will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to either routine care + cardiac sympathetic denervation (CSD) or routine care without cardiac sympathetic denervation. We are asking 40 individuals (approximate age range 18-80 years) who continue to experience ICD shocks to participate in this research study but only half these individual will be randomized to cardiac sympathetic denervation (CSD) surgery.

Condition Dysrhythmia, Heart Disease, Cardiac Disease, Arrhythmia, Heart disease, Sudden Cardiac Death, Ventricular Fibrillation, cardiomyopathies, myocardial diseases, Fast Heart Rate (Tachycardia), Ventricular tachycardia, Cardiomyopathy, Tachycardia
Treatment Routine care, Cardiac Sympathetic Denervation (CSD)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT01013714
SponsorUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Last Modified on10 September 2021


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