Objective: Follow-up of patients with treatment-resistant Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) one-year after single-port thoracoscopic sympathicotomy (SPTS).
Methods: Eight patients (six males, two females, median age of 45 years) with treatment-resistant RP underwent left-sided SPTS at the third rib (R3), unilaterally. Questionnaires were taken, and number and duration of RP attacks were reported over a 2-week period. Perfusion was assessed with a cooling and recovery procedure at baseline and one year after SPTS. Furthermore, laser speckle contrast analysis, pulse wave velocity, heart rate variability and nailfold capillary microscopy were performed.
Results: One year after SPTS the duration of the attacks of was reduced with 1.9 h in the left hand versus 0.3 h in the right hand. Furthermore, three aspects of the questionnaire showed a significant improvement (role limitations due to physical health (p = 0.017), pain (p = 0.027) and physical functioning (p = 0.025)). The total area under the curve of the total cooling and recovery procedure of the left hand was larger one year after surgery (101 (75–140) at baseline versus 118 (95–190) one year post-operatively, p = 0.012), implying a better perfusion in the fingers. This was mainly due to the improvement during the recovery phase (21 (1–41) at baseline versus 38 (24–43) one year post-operatively, p = 0.028).
Conclusion: One year after unilateral R3 SPTS the benefit with regard to the majority of outcome variables persisted, though some effects seem to attenuate. Long-term effects and long-term follow-up results will be investigated in an on-going study.
Clinical trial registration number: NCT02680509.