Current Management Strategies for Autonomic Dysreflexia

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is an acute, imbalanced autonomic response to noxious or visceral stimuli in patients with a spinal cord injury (SCI) above T6. In this review, we provide the clinician with an overview of the prevention, diagnosis, and management of AD.

Recent Findings

Practice patterns of physicians that manage AD are shifting. Many practitioners are moving away from use of nifedipine and towards alternate pharmacologic therapies, namely nitrates and analgesics. Additionally, through better awareness of common triggers of AD, anesthetics have helped to prevent many cases of AD that may have previously occurred.

Summary

Many pharmacologic interventions are available to the practicing physician; however, more important is a knowledge and understanding of common triggers to avoid as prevention is key.

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Correspondence to Matthew J. Mellon.

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Flack, C.K., Mellon, M.J. Current Management Strategies for Autonomic Dysreflexia. Curr Bladder Dysfunct Rep 13, 224–229 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11884-018-0488-x

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Keywords

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Autonomic dysreflexia
  • Surgery