Autoimmune Autonomic Neuropathy

S. Vernino, P. A. Low

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Autoimmune autonomic neuropathy (AAN) presents as unexplained autonomic failure with orthostatic hypotension, gastrointestinal dysmotility, sicca, anhidrosis, and pupil abnormalities. The autonomic deficits may be monophasic with incomplete recovery or chronic and persistent. Paraneoplastic autonomic neuropathy can present in a similar fashion. Ganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibodies are frequently (but not always) found in patients with AAN. The level of this antibody correlates with the severity of autonomic deficits. Plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin are anecdotally effective and may be considered for severe cases of recent onset. Studies in animal models indicate that AAN is caused by antibody-mediated impairment in synaptic transmission in autonomic ganglia. .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Acetylcholine receptor
  • Anhidrosis
  • Animal model
  • Antibodies
  • Autonomic ganglia
  • Gastrointestinal dysmotility
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Paraneoplastic
  • Parasympathetic
  • Sympathetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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