What is the significance of level T6 in the pathogenesis of autonomic dysreflexia with spinal cord injury?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Ryan O Stephenson, DO; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

T6 is of particular importance in the pathogenesis of autonomic dysreflexia. The splanchnic vascular bed is one of the body’s largest reserves of circulatory volume and is controlled primarily by the greater splanchnic nerve. This important nerve derives its innervation from T5-T9. Lesions to the spinal cord at or above T6 allow the strong and uninhibited sympathetic tone to constrict the splanchnic vascular bed, causing systemic hypertension. Lesions below T6 generally allow enough descending inhibitory parasympathetic control to modulate the splanchnic tone and prevent hypertension.


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