Cervical sympathetic dysfunction may cause a spectrum of findings, some of which may be intermittent. In some conditions there is sympathetic hypoactivity while in others there may be hyperactivity.

Signs and symptoms - typically unilateral presence of:

(1) paroxysmal cyanoderma of the face, neck and/or arm

(2) cutaneous hypesthesia of the face, neck and/or arm

(3) neuropathic pain of the face, neck and/or arm

(4) Horner syndrome (hypoactivity) or Pourfour du Petit syndrome (hyperactivity)

(5) hyperhidrosis of the face


Causes may include:

(1) compression of the cervical sympathetic chain (stylohyoid complex syndrome, abscess, tumor, other)

(2) blunt or penetrating trauma to the neck (whiplash injury, surgery, war trauma, other)

(3) trauma to the cervical spinal cord

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