autonomic

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autonomic

 [aw″to-nom´ik]
not subject to voluntary control.
autonomic dysreflexia an uninhibited and exaggerated reflex of the autonomic nervous system to stimulation; called also hyperreflexia. The response occurs in 85 per cent of all patients who have spinal cord injury above the level of the sixth thoracic vertebra. It is potentially dangerous because of attendant vasoconstriction and immediate elevation of blood pressure, which in turn can bring about hemorrhagic retinal damage or stroke syndrome. Less serious effects include severe headache; changes in heart rate; sweating, flushing, and “goose bumps” or piloerection above the level of the spinal cord injury; and pallor below that level.
Patient Care. Circumstances that can trigger autonomic dysreflexia are often related to stimulation of the bladder, bowel, and skin of the patient. Examples are a distended bowel or bladder, pressure on the skin, or any of a number of noxious stimuli.

Once the symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia are manifest, emergency care is indicated. Efforts are made to lower the blood pressure by placing the patient in a sitting position or elevating the head and upper body to a 45-degree angle. The stimulus must be identified and removed as gently and quickly as possible. If fecal impaction is the cause, the rectum should be coated with an anesthetic ointment prior to attempted removal of the impaction; this prevents increasing the stimulus to autonomic dysreflexia. The physician is notified so that appropriate medical intervention can be initiated. Antihypertensive drugs are a last resort. As soon as the cause is identified and removed, the dysreflexia will disappear. Patients who experience repeated attacks may require surgery to sever the nerves responsible for the exaggerated response to stimulation.
autonomic nervous system the branch of the nervous system that works without conscious control. The voluntary nervous system governs the striated or skeletal muscles, whereas the autonomic nervous system governs the glands, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscles such as those of the digestive system, respiratory system, and skin. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two subsidiary systems, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. See Plate 14.

au·to·nom·ic

(aw'tō-nom'ik),
Relating to the autonomic nervous system.

autonomic

(ô′tə-nŏm′ĭk)
adj.
1. Physiology
a. Of, relating to, or controlled by the autonomic nervous system.
b. Occurring involuntarily; automatic: an autonomic reflex.
2. Resulting from internal stimuli; spontaneous.

au′to·nom′i·cal·ly adv.

autonomic

adjective
(1) Autonomous.
(2) Referring or pertaining to the autonomic nervous system.

autonomic

adjective
1. Autonomous; self controlled; functionally independent.
2. Referring to the autonomic nervous system, see there.

au·to·nom·ic

(aw'tō-nom'ik)
Relating to the autonomic nervous system.

autonomic

  1. appertaining to that part of the nervous system controlling involuntary muscles (see AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM).
  2. (in plants) movements arising from internal stimuli, e.g. protoplasmic streaming; spiral growth of stem apices.

Autonomic

Refers to peripheral nerves that carry signals from the brain and that control involuntary actions in the body, such as the beating of the heart.
Mentioned in: Peripheral Neuropathy

au·to·nom·ic

(aw'tō-nom'ik)
Relating to the autonomic nervous system.
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