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Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2001 Mar-Apr;35(3):439-52.

[Idiopathic autonomic neuropathy (pandysautonomia)].

[Article in Polish]

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Kliniki Neurologii AM w BiaƂymstoku.


On the basis of current literature, clinical and neuropathologic features of idiopathic autonomic neuropathy is presented. Idiopathic autonomic neuropathy is a disease characterized by acute or subacute onset, monophasic course over a period of several years, it is often preceded by an infection. The spectrum of autonomic changes ranges from cholinergic or adrenergic dysfunction to pandysautonomia, leading to heterogeneity of its clinical features. Possible sympathetic system abnormalities found in autonomic neuropathy are: poor pupillary response to light in darkness, orthostatic hypotension leading to syncope, hypotension without compensatory tachycardia, ejaculation disturbances and vasomotor instability. Possible parasympathetic dysfunctions are: salivation and lacrimation disturbances, absent pupillary constriction to light and near gaze, gastrointestinal tract immobility and impairment of gastrointestinal function, atonic bladder with large residual volume, erectile impotence. Pandysautonomia is thought to result from an immune mediated mechanism and responds well to plasmaferesis and intravenous immunoglobin therapy leading to gradual, sometimes not full, recovery. Moreover in this article we pay attention to the clinical value of many tests like cardiovascular or pharmacological studies in the diagnosis of pandysautonomia and in differentiation of pre- and postganglionic changes. In order to diagnose idiopathic autonomic neuropathy one has to rule out a large number of diseases with autonomic dysfunction e.g.: diabetes, malignant neoplasms, acute intermittent porphyria, Shy-Drager syndrome, Riley-Day's dysautonomia, Parkinson's disease, amyloidosis and others.

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