Autonomic Dysreflexia


4.6 out of 5 (31 Reviews)



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Expiration Date

31 Dec 2025

Last Reviewed

1 Jan 2023

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 individuals in nursing.

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 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. All relevant conflict(s) of interest have been mitigated. Hover over contributor names for financial disclosures. None of the planners of this educational activity have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.


Continuing Education Accreditation Information

Credit provided by Continuing Education, Inc, and StatPearls, LLC.

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been jointly planned and implemented by Continuing Education, Inc./University at Sea® and StatPearls, LLC. Continuing Education, Inc, 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.

This activity is designated for 1.50 ANCC contact hours.


Instructions for Credit

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

For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.


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 specifically 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.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing and a money-back guarantee is provided if not completely satisfied.

  • StatPearlsand and Continuing Education, Inc, reserve the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. StatPearls and Continuing Education, Inc, will not be responsible for other expenses incurred by the participant in the unlikely event that the program is canceled.

Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements: Internet Access
  • E-mail Address

Equal Opportunity

  • StatPearls and Continuing Education are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access Institutions. 


Media Usage Rights

The contributors and editors of StatPearls have attested that all associated media (images and video) have been legally cleared for use with this activity.  All copyrights are reserved.


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