Journal Article
Review
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Cardiovascular and urological dysfunction in spinal cord injury.

OBJECTIVE: A spinal cord injury (SCI) above the sixth thoracic vertebra interrupts the supraspinal control of the sympathetic nervous system causing an imbalance between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system. This article focuses on the symptoms, treatment and examination of autonomic disturbances of the cardiovascular and the urinary system after a SCI.

METHODS: A non-systematic literature search in the PubMed database.

RESULTS: Frequent complications in the acute phase of cervical and high thoracic SCI are bradyarrhythmias, hypotension, hypothermia/hyperthermia, increased neurogenic shock, vagovagal reflex, supraventricular/ventricular ectopic beats, vasodilatation and congestion. Serious complications in the chronic phase of SCI are orthostatic hypotension, impaired cardiovascular reflexes, autonomic dysreflexia (AD), reduced sensation of cardiac pain, loss of reflex cardiac acceleration, quadriplegic cardiac atrophy due to loss of left ventricular mass and pseudo-myocardial infarction. AD is associated with a sudden, uncontrolled sympathetic response, triggered by stimuli below the injury. It may cause mild symptoms like skin rash or slight headache, but also severe hypertension, cerebral haemorrhage and death. Early recognition and prompt treatment are important. Urinary autonomic dysfunctions include hyperreflexia or areflexia of detrusor and/or sphincter of the bladder.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with SCI have a high risk of cardiovascular complications, AD and urinary autonomic dysfunction both in the acute phase and later, affecting their prognosis and quality of life. Knowledge of cardiovascular and urological complications after SCI is important for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

Related Resources

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app