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Autonomic Dysreflexia

Other Autonomic Dysfunctions

There are a variety of other autonomic dysfunctions that can occur after SCI. During the first weeks post-injury, alterations in autonomic function (period of neurogenic shock) require close medical management and may be life-threatening (Guly et al. 2008; Krassioukov et al. 2007; Tuli et al. 2007). Low resting arterial blood pressure and severe bradycardia and even asystole can be seen in patients with cervical injuries (Biering-Sørensen et al. 2017). However, even patients that are not in severe distress need to be carefully monitored for autonomic instability during the initial post-injury period and beyond. Here we briefly summarize some of the most common general autonomic dysfunction issues post-SCI. For a more complete discussion, refer to our chapters on Bladder, Bowel, and Sexual Health issues post-SCI.

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