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Autonomic dysreflexia is a syndrome of massive imbalance of reflex sympathetic discharge occurring in patients with spinal cord injury with a lesion above the splanchnic outflow (Thoracic 6). Autonomic dysreflexia is characterized by a sudden and severe rise in blood pressure and is potentially life threatening. Because the onset of this entity is rapid and the potential morbidity is severe, it is important for those caring for spinal cord injury patients to be aware of this syndrome. The paper presents a review of the literature, and familiarizes one with the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment Two illustrative case reports are also presented.
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Accepted: October 19, 2000
Received: March 13, 2000
© 2001 American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. All rights reserved. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.