What is the role of autonomic function testing in the workup of multiple system atrophy (MSA)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: André Diedrich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

This can used to evaluate the distribution and severity of parasympathetic and sympathetic dysfunction. Findings include the following:

  • Diminished respiratory sinus arrhythmia

  • Abnormal response to Valsalva maneuver (no BP recovery in late phase II and/or no overshoot in phase IV, reduced Valsalva ratio for heart rate)

  • Reduced response to isometric exercise (handgrip)

  • Diminished response to cold pressor test


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