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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, Bouamra, and Lecky, 2008;Krassioukov, Karlsson, Wecht, Wuermser, Mathias, and Marino, 2007;Tuli, Tuli, Coleman, Geisler, and Krassioukov, 2007). Low resting arterial blood pressure and severe bradycardia and even asystole can be seen in patients with cervical injuries (Biering-Sørensen, Biering-Sørensen, Liu, Malmqvist, Wecht, Krassioukov, 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. We’d like to briefly summarize some of the most common general autonomic dysfunction issues post-SCI (for a more complete discussion of Bladder, Bowel and Sexual Health issues post-SCI, please refer to the specific Chapters in the Evidence section of SCIRE).