How is pure autonomic failure (PAF) characterized?

Updated: Oct 21, 2018
  • Author: Mohini Gurme, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The term pure autonomic failure (PAF) was coined by Roger Bannister. It encompasses disorders of autonomic function that do not affect the central nervous system (CNS). The term is more descriptive of a clinical presentation than of a single pathologic process. Idiopathic orthostatic hypotension, sometimes also referred to as Bradbury-Eggleston syndrome, falls into this general category. Although patients with PAF may share many common clinical features, especially orthostatic hypotension, it is now evident that the underlying disease processes are heterogeneous. Many patients who present with PAF may actually have an immunologically mediated autonomic neuropathy, whereas others may go on to develop MSA or other diseases that fall outside the PAF definition.


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