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Autonomic dysreflexia and concurrent Horner’s Syndrome: a rare presentation in a patient with spinal cord injury

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Introduction: Autonomic dysreflexia is an uninhibited sympathetic response evoked by a strong sensory input below the level of the injury in patients with spinal cord injury. As presented in this case, autonomic dysreflexia can be associated with unusual symptoms such as Horner’s syndrome. Case presentation: An 18-year-old man with a traumatic spinal cord injury (C7 AIS A) experienced symptoms of unilateral Horner’s syndrome: miosis, ptosis and anhidrosis which occurred simultaneously with symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia: severe headache accompanied by increasing right-sided diaphoresis, flushing, blurred vision, and increased blood pressure. These symptoms were triggered by bladder distention and were resolved after catheterisation. Discussion: The patient experienced a transient Horner’s syndrome due to autonomic dysreflexia. Both Horner’s syndrome and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia resolved when eliminating the eliciting stimulus, indicating that Horner’s syndrome occurred due to a transient pressure on the sympathetic fibres supplying the superior cervical ganglion. Autonomic dysreflexia may have caused increased pressure disrupting the sympathetic input, thus inducing unilateral miosis, ptosis, and facial anhidrosis.

TidsskriftSpinal Cord Series and Cases
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - 2021

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