Which physical findings are characteristic of autonomic dysfunction in spinal cord injury (SCI)?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

In a study showing a high incidence of autonomic dysfunction, including orthostatic hypotension and impaired cardiovascular control, following spinal cord injury, it was recommended that an assessment of autonomic function be routinely used, along with American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) assessment, in the neurologic evaluation of patients with spinal cord injury. [33]

In all patients with spinal cord injury and hypotension, a diligent search for sources of hemorrhage must be made before hypotension is attributed to neurogenic shock. In acute spinal cord injury, shock may be neurogenic, hemorrhagic, or both.


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