What is autonomic dysreflexia Hyperreflexia?

Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD), sometimes referred to as Autonomic Hyperreflexia, is a potentially life-threatening medical condition that many people with spinal cord injury (SCI) experience when there is a pain or discomfort below their level of injury, even if the pain or discomfort cannot be felt.

What is the difference between autonomic hyperreflexia and Dysreflexia?

Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is a condition in which your involuntary nervous system overreacts to external or bodily stimuli. It’s also known as autonomic hyperreflexia. This reaction causes: a dangerous spike in blood pressure.

What are the signs and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia?

Symptoms can include any of the following:

  • Anxiety or worry.
  • Bladder or bowel problems.
  • Blurry vision, widened (dilated) pupils.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Fever.
  • Goosebumps, flushed (red) skin above the level of the spinal cord injury.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • High blood pressure.

What causes autonomic hyperreflexia?

Autonomic Dysreflexia Causes



Something as simple as a full bladder or an ingrown toenail can be enough to send your nerve responses into overdrive. Other things that can set off the condition include: Constipation. Kidney stones.

What causes hyperreflexia in spinal cord injury?

Autonomic hyperreflexia happens because nerve messages that used to go up the spinal cord to the brain are blocked. Conditions below the level of injury that may lead to autonomic hyperreflexia are: Full bladder. Constipation or a full bowel.

What would hyperreflexia indicate?

Hyperreflexia indicates an upper motor neuron lesion, and reflects a loss of inhibitory modulation of the motor pathways. It is often associated with increased muscle tone (spasticity).

What is considered hyperreflexia?

Hyperreflexia is defined as overactive or overresponsive reflexes. Examples of this can include twitching or spastic tendencies, which are indicative of upper motor neuron disease as well as the lessening or loss of control ordinarily exerted by higher brain centers of lower neural pathways (disinhibition).

How do you explain autonomic dysreflexia?

Autonomic dysreflexia is a condition that emerges after a spinal cord injury, usually when the damage has occurred above the T6 level. The higher the level of the spinal cord injury, the greater the risk, with up to 90% of patients with cervical spinal or high-thoracic spinal cord injury being susceptible.

Which are characteristics of autonomic dysreflexia?

In autonomic dysreflexia, patients will experience hypertension, sweating, spasms (sometimes severe spasms) and erythema (more likely in upper extremities) and may suffer from headaches and blurred vision.

What can autonomic dysreflexia cause?

If left untreated, autonomic dysreflexia can cause seizures, retinal hemorrhage, pulmonary edema, renal insufficiency, myocardial infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, and, ultimately, death. Complications associated with autonomic dysreflexia result directly from sustained, severe peripheral hypertension.

What electrolyte imbalance causes hyperreflexia?

Calcium under seven causes changes in your reflexes (hyperreflexia), muscle spasms, spasms of the larynx (voice box) and seizures.

How do you test for hyperreflexia?


Test today I want to relax that arm as much as you can and if you take a look at the thumb. And forefinger. Right here we're going to give her a little flick on the middle.

Which are characteristics of autonomic dysreflexia?

In autonomic dysreflexia, patients will experience hypertension, sweating, spasms (sometimes severe spasms) and erythema (more likely in upper extremities) and may suffer from headaches and blurred vision.

What is the most common cause of autonomic dysreflexia?

Bladder distension or irritation is responsible for 75-85% of the cases. Bladder irritation is commonly caused by a blocked or kinked catheter or failure of a timely intermittent catheterization program. The second most common cause of autonomic dysreflexia is bowel distention, usually due to fecal impaction.

What electrolyte imbalance causes hyperreflexia?

Calcium under seven causes changes in your reflexes (hyperreflexia), muscle spasms, spasms of the larynx (voice box) and seizures.

What often triggers autonomic dysreflexia?

Autonomic dysreflexia can occur on a daily basis and can be triggered by stimuli such as distension of the bladder (most common), bladder or kidney stones, a kink in a urinary catheter, infection of the urinary tract, fecal impaction, pressure sores, an ingrown toenail, fractures, menstruation, hemorrhoids, invasive …

Is autonomic dysreflexia life threatening?

Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is a life-threatening complication of chronic traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI).

What medication is used for autonomic dysreflexia?

Answer. The most commonly used agents are nifedipine and nitrates (eg, nitroglycerine paste or sublingual nitroglycerine). Nifedipine should be in the immediate-release form; bite and swallow is the preferred method of administering the drug, not sublingual administration.

Which patient below is at most risk for developing a condition called autonomic dysreflexia?

Autonomic dysreflexia is a condition that emerges after a spinal cord injury, usually when the damage has occurred above the T6 level. The higher the level of the spinal cord injury, the greater the risk, with up to 90% of patients with cervical spinal or high-thoracic spinal cord injury being susceptible.

Is autonomic dysreflexia permanent?

(See http://www.msktc.org/sci/model- system-centers for more information). Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is a medical condition that can lead to serious stroke, seizure, organ damage, permanent brain injury, or even death if not treated immediately.