In a group of 30 subjects suffering from sympathetic reflex dystrophies of the limbs, the sympathetic ganglia of the affected side were blocked with a local anesthetic. Using an original method, we measured the cutaneous pain threshold before the block and at prefixed intervals after the block during a period of 2 days. In all subjects the cutaneous pain threshold showed damped oscillations both in the limb ipsilateral to the block and in the contralateral one. The analysis of these oscillations showed: (a) that the sympathetic control of the cutaneous pain threshold may be exerted through a negative feedback loop (skin-afferent input-CNS-sympathetic output-skin); (b) that the afferent discharge of a limb controls the contralateral sympathetic output through central mechanisms. © 1975.
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