Gender differences in the human cervicothoracic ganglia
Keywords: cervicothoracic ganglion, human, gender, anatomy
AbstractResearchers still further have a morphological interest in sympathetic ganglia. Functionally, paravertebral ganglia are involved in many physiological and pathological aspects of neuropathic, vascular, visceral pain syndromes, the Raynaud’s syndrome and hyperhydrosis. Several interventions on ganglia as surgical and chemical sympathectomy, the ganglion block, and the chemical or thermal sympatholysis are applied for treatment of the pathological conditions. Accurate knowledge about the structure and the location of ganglia is required for a successful aftereffect of these procedures. In scientific literature there are many facts about the structural variations of the sympathetic ganglia related to development, age, pathology, lateral asymmetry and gender. The last one is the indeterminate factor, and the data about it are few and controversial. Still we were missing the information about the gender role on morphometry of human sympathetic ganglia and particularly of the cervicothoracic ganglion. The goal of our present study was to evaluate gender differences in the human ganglia. In our study we found that male cervicothoracic ganglia were longer than female ganglia, 21.33±4.74 mm vs. 14.87±1.84 mm, wider 9.51±1.48 mm vs. 8.76±1.14 mm, and thicker than female ganglia 5.19±0.77 vs. 4.29±0.36 mm. The dissected ganglia exhibited the three main distinguishable shapes: spindle, dumbbell and inverted “L”. We defined gender differences: the female ganglia were mainly of spindle shape (78%), whereas the male ones equally expressed all the three types of the shape (35%, 30%, and 35%). In summary, we determined the gender differences in human cervicothoracic ganglia. We note that these differences are important for interventions on ganglia.