Autonomic Dysreflexia

What is the pathophysiology of autonomic dysreflexia (AD) after a SCI?
1. AD is caused by massive sympathetic discharge triggered by either noxious or non-noxious stimuli below the level of the SCI. Episodes are usually short-lived if inciting stimulus is removed (figure 4).

For more information please see: Pathophysiology of Autonomic Dysreflexia

Figure 4. Diagram illustrating how AD occurs in a person with spinal cord injury. The afferent stimulus, in this case a distended bladder, triggers a peripheral sympathetic response, which results in vasoconstriction and hypertension. Descending inhibitory signals, which would normally counteract the rise in blood pressure, are blocked at the level of the spinal cord injury. Blackmer, J. (2003). Rehabilitation medicine: 1. Autonomic dysreflexia. CMAJ • OCT. 28, 2003; 169 (9). Retrieved from http://www.cmaj.ca/content/169/9/931.figures-only