Autonomic Dysreflexia


4.6 out of 5 (44 Reviews)



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Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

1 Sep 2023

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

90 Minutes

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Activity Description

Autonomic dysreflexia is a condition that emerges after a spinal cord injury, usually when the damage has occurred above the T6 level. The higher the level of the spinal cord injury, the greater the risk, with up to 90% of patients with cervical spinal or high-thoracic spinal cord injury being susceptible. Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system leads to an uncoordinated sympathetic response that may result in a potentially life-threatening hypertensive episode when there is a noxious stimulus below the level of the spinal cord injury. In about 85% of cases, this stimulus is from a urological source such as a UTI, a distended bladder, or a clogged Foley catheter. There is a significantly increased risk of stroke by 300% to 400%. Autonomic dysreflexia can occur in susceptible individuals up to 40 times per day. This activity reviews the causes, pathophysiology, presentation, and treatment of autonomic dysreflexia and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in its management.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of autonomic dysreflexia.
  • Review the manifestations of autonomic dysreflexia.
  • Summarize the management options for autonomic dysreflexia.
  • Outline the importance of improving care coordination among interprofessional team members to improve outcomes for patients affected by autonomic dysreflexia.


StatPearls, LLC requires everyone who influences the content of an educational activity to disclose relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. Ineligible companies are organizations whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. All relevant conflict(s) of interest have been mitigated. Hover over contributor names for financial disclosures. Others involved in planning this educational activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Commercial Support: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Nurses: StatPearls designates this activity for 1.50 ANCC contact hour(s). Nurses should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

Method of Participation and Credit

  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

If you have concerns regarding the CE/CME system, please contact


This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Unapproved Uses of Drugs/Devices: In accordance with FDA requirements, the audience is advised that information presented in this continuing education activity may contain references to unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please refer to the FDA-approved package insert for each drug/device for full prescribing/utilization information.

Cancellation Policy: Please see the cancellation policy. StatPearls, LLC reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances.




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