Sympathetic ganglia are the ganglion of the sympathetic nervous system. They deliver information to the body about stress and impending danger, and are responsible for the familiar fight-or-flight response.
They contain approximately 20000–30000 nerve cell bodies and are located close to and on either side of the spinal cord in long chains. Sympathetic ganglia are the tissue from which neuroblastoma tumours arise.
The bilaterally symmetric sympathetic chain ganglia, also called the paravertebral ganglia, are located just ventral and lateral to the spinal cord. The chain extends from the upper neck down to the coccyx, forming the unpaired coccygeal ganglion.
Preganglionic nerves from the spinal cord synapse end at one of the chain ganglia and the postganglionic fibre extends to an effector, typically a visceral organ in the thoracic cavity.