Invited review: autonomic dysfunction in peripheral nerve disease

Muscle Nerve. 1992 Jan;15(1):3-13. doi: 10.1002/mus.880150103.


The autonomic nervous system is affected in most peripheral neuropathies, but only in a small number of conditions, such as diabetes, amyloidosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, porphyria, and familiar dysautonomia, is autonomic dysfunction of clinical importance. The pathological changes in the peripheral autonomic nervous system are similar to those in the peripheral somatic nerves. Autonomic disturbances are most likely to occur when there is acute demyelination or damage to small myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. Autonomic investigations should include tests of both sympathetic and parasympathetic function. Treatment consists of management of the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy, physical and pharmacological measures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / complications*