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'No sweat' CT-guided injection treats embarrassing hand condition

CHICAGO - A minimally invasive procedure can permanently cure people who suffer from "sweaty hands," according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Computed tomography (CT) fluoroscopy allows precise needle guidance in the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis, or sweaty hands, minimizing risk and discomfort to the patient.

"This CT-guided percutaneous technique is the most secure treatment today and stops sweating from the hands to the armpits with very little chance of recurrence," said the study's lead author, Hugues Brat, M.D., head of the radiology department at Centre Hospitalier Hornu - Frameries, in Hornu, Belgium.

Up to three out of every 100 people in the United States faces social and professional discomfort due to sweaty hands. The condition is caused by an overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Previously, the only known permanent treatments for sweaty hands were thoracic conventional or endoscopic surgical sympathectomies requiring general or local anesthesia. Both procedures are secure but can produce serious complications, ranging from bleeding and collapsed lung to partial paralysis and Horner syndrome, which affects movement of the eyelid.

Minimally invasive treatments are available which effectively treat sweaty hands with varying degrees of effectiveness, cost and risk to the patient. Some physicians offer local Botox injections, which are efficient but are painful and expensive and only last six months.

Percutaneous sympathectomy with CT fluoroscopy is a 20-minute procedure requiring no anesthesia, with no risk of nerve damage or bleeding and only minimal risk of Horner syndrome. Most patients require a single treatment for each side. As with surgical sympathectomy, there is an unpredictable but rare risk of compensatory sweating at the level of the chest.

For the procedure, interventional radiologists make a single needle punctu
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Contact: Maureen Morley
mmorley@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
29-Nov-2005


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