This study investigated the effects of a unilateral stellate ganglion block (SGB) on ipsilateral and contralateral masseter muscle blood flow during permissive hypercapnia. Eight male Japanese white rabbits were anesthetized with isoflurane. Observed variables included heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), left common carotid artery blood flow (LCBF), left and right masseter muscle tissue blood flow (LMBF and RMBF), and left femoral quadriceps muscle tissue blood flow (LQBF). Variable measurements were taken at a baseline end-tidal carbon dioxide tension (EtCO2) of 40 mm Hg and repeated at an elevated EtCO2 of 60 mm Hg prior to and after administration of a left SGB. HR decreased, while systolic BP was elevated during hypercapnia and after the SGB. LCBF increased during hypercapnia and after the SGB. LMBF and RMBF decreased to 75% and LQBF decreased to 60% of their respective baseline values during hypercapnia. After the SGB, LMBF was restored, reapproximating its baseline, but RMBF and LQBF further decreased to 55 and 45% of their respective baseline values. In conclusion, unilateral SGB restored the ipsilateral masseter muscle blood flow that had been reduced during hypercapnia. In contrast, the SGB exacerbated the hypercapnia-induced reduction in blood flows in the contralateral masseter muscle and the femoral quadriceps muscle.

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