Assessment of autonomic dysfunction following spinal cord injury: rationale for additions to International Standards for Neurological Assessment

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(1):103-12. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2005.10.0159.


We present a preliminary report of the discussion of the joint committee of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and the International Spinal Cord Society concerning the development of assessment criteria for general autonomic function testing following spinal cord injury (SCI). Elements of this report were presented at the 2005 annual meeting of the ASIA. To improve the evaluation of neurological function in individuals with SCI and therefore better assess the effects of therapeutic interventions in the future, we are proposing a comprehensive set of definitions of general autonomic nervous system dysfunction following SCI that should be assessed by clinicians. Presently the committee recommends the recognition and assessment of the following conditions: neurogenic shock, cardiac dysrhythmias, orthostatic hypotension, autonomic dysreflexia, temperature dysregulation, and hyperhidrosis.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*