Pure autonomic failure

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Pure autonomic failure
Classification and external resources
DiseasesDB 32777
MeSH D001342

Pure autonomic failure, also known as Bradbury-Eggleston syndrome or idiopathic orthostatic hypotension, is a form of dysautonomia that first occurs in middle age or later in life; men are affected more often than women.


A degenerative disease of the autonomic nervous system, symptoms include dizziness and fainting (caused by orthostatic hypotension), visual disturbances and neck pain. Chest pain, fatigue and sexual dysfunction are less common symptoms that may also occur. Symptoms are worse when standing; sometimes one may relieve symptoms by lying down.


The pathology of pure autonomic failure is not yet completely understood. However, a loss of cells in the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord has been documented, as has a loss of catecholamine uptake and catecholamine fluorescence in sympathetic postganglionic neurons. In general, levels of catecholamines in these patients are very low while lying down, and do not increase much upon standing.


Pure autonomic failure, along with other diseases, such as Multiple System Atrophy are sometimes referred to as primary autonomic failure.[1]


Pharmacological methods of treatment include fludrocortisone, midodrine, somatostatin, erythropoietin, and other vasopressor agents. However, often a patient with pure autonomic failure can mitigate his or her symptoms with far less costly means. Compressing the legs and lower body, through crossing the legs, squatting, or the use of compression stockings can help. Also, ingesting more water than usual can increase blood pressure and relieve some symptoms.


It is named for Samuel Bradbury and Cary Eggleston.[2][3]


  1. ^ Christopher J. Mathias; Sir Roger Bannister (13 June 2013). Autonomic Failure: A Textbook of Clinical Disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-856634-4. 
  2. ^ synd/2102 at Who Named It?
  3. ^ S. Bradbury, C. Eggleston. Postural hypotension: A report of three cases. American Heart Journal, St. Louis, 1925, 1: 73-86.

External links[edit]

National Dysautonomia Research Foundation (NDRF)