Autonomic Dysreflexia

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Autonomic dysreflexia is an acute syndrome characterized by abrupt onset of excessively high blood pressure caused by uncontrolled sympathetic nervous system discharge in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). Au-tonomic dysreflexia is potentially life-threatening.

The syndrome was first described by Head and Rid-doch in 1917 (Head and Riddoch 1917). In 1947, Gutt-mann and Whitteridge showed the effects of bladder distensions on the cardiovascular system (Guttmann and Whitteridge 1947). Autonomic dysreflexia is also known as autonomic hyperreflexia, paroxysmal neuro-genic hypertension, sympathetic hyperreflexia, and neurovegetative syndrome.

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