Effect of intravesical botulinum toxin injection on symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia in a patient with chronic spinal cord injury: a case report

There are few treatment options for managing autonomic dysreflexia in patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). According to some studies, intravesical botulinum toxin for SCI patients with autonomic dysreflexia has a preventive effect on symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia. However, the usefulness of an intravesical botulinum toxin injection has never been reported for autonomic dysreflexia in an adult patient with chronic cervical SCI, although there has been for one pediatric patient.

A 62-year-old man with chronic cervical SCI had neurogenic bladder due to C6-7 SCI since sustaining a fall in 1980. He presented with an intermittent headache and severe hypertension because of persistent autonomic dysreflexia. His symptoms did not improve with conservative management, and he could not undergo an operation to resect the lung cancer because of his uncontrolled blood pressure. To control his fluctuating blood pressure, he was taken to an operating room to receive an intravesical botulinum toxin injection for refractory bladder spasms. Subsequently, his blood pressure was controlled, and then the lung mass could be surgically removed. His improved condition lasted for more than 6 months.

This case suggests that botulinum toxin is a logical treatment option for autonomic dysreflexia as well as neurogenic detrusor overactivity in patients with chronic SCI. Dedicated research is warranted to assess the efficacy of an intravesical botulinum toxin injection, as it was used successfully to stop the symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia in our patient.

The journal of spinal cord medicine. 2017 May 09 [Epub ahead of print]

Il-Young Jung, Kyo Ik Mo, Ja-Ho Leigh

a Department of Rehabilitation Medicine , Chungnam National University Hospital , Daejeon , Republic of Korea., b Department of Urology, Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service Incheon Hospital , Incheon , Republic of Korea., c Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Incheon St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine , The Catholic University of Korea , Incheon , Republic of Korea.