Objective: No study has yet compared the efficacy of endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy for treating facial blushing with other treatment or no treatment. We conducted a prospective, observational, openlabel, clinical study to compare endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy for blushing with generalized social anxiety disorder versus sertraline treatment and no treatment. Method: Three-hundred and thirty consecutive patients seeking treatment for their blushing were assessed by psychiatric interview and patient-rated scales. The Brief Social Phobia Scale was the primary outcome measure. Patients meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for generalized social anxiety disorder, scoring 20 points or more in the Brief Social Phobia Scale and 19 points or more in the Social Phobia Inventory were considered eligible and followed up for a mean of 11 months (range 1-64) after endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy or initiation of sertraline. Results: At baseline, 97 percent of the endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy-treated group, 87 percent of the sertraline-treated group, and 78 percent of the nontreated group rated their blushing as being "severe" or "extreme." At follow up, 16 percent of endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy-treated patients, 32 percent of sertraline-treated patients, and 57 percent of untreated patients reported this degree of blushing. At endpoint, Brief Social Phobia Scale total scores exhibited a greater decline with either treatment than with no treatment. Nonetheless, in comparison to no treatment, only the results obtained with endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy achieved statistical significance (p=0.003). Compensatory sweating occurred in 99 percent of patients who underwent endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. High degrees of satisfaction with treatment were reported by 89 percent of patients undergoing endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy and by 59 percent of patients taking medication. Conclusion: Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy was associated to a greater reduction of blushing and Brief Social Phobia Scale scores, and higher degrees of satisfaction with treatment, in comparison to sertraline and no treatment.
|Number of pages
|Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience
|Published - Nov 2011
- Anxiety disorder
- Social phobia