What is the most common precipitating cause of autonomic dysreflexia in pressure injuries (pressure ulcers)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Christian N Kirman, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

The most common precipitating cause of autonomic dysreflexia is bladder distention, which is treated by inserting a Foley catheter or irrigating an already placed Foley catheter to remove blockage. Rectal examination to evaluate for fecal impaction should be considered. Nifedipine, hydralazine, or topical nitroglycerin may be administered to stabilize blood pressure. If autonomic dysreflexia does not respond to these measures, spinal anesthesia may be required.


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