Pure autonomic failure

Handb Clin Neurol. 2019:161:413-422. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-64142-7.00064-3.


In this chapter, we describe the history, presentation, diagnosis and treatment of pure autonomic failure (PAF). The pathology underlying this condition is thought to involve the deposition of alpha synuclein in the autonomic ganglia leading to diminished norepinephrine release and progressive autonomic dysfunction. We focus on various neurophysiological tests that may be used to evaluate the function of the peripheral autonomic nervous system including quantitative sudomotor axon reflex testing, thermoregulatory sweat testing, and others. These may help evaluate and diagnose various disorders of autonomic failure and neurogenic orthostatic hypotension including multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease dysautonomia. Management of PAF, including the therapeutic role of recent advances in pharmacologic treatment, is discussed.

Keywords: Autonomic testing; Catecholamines; Dysautonomia; Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension; Pure autonomic failure; Synucleinopathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pure Autonomic Failure*