Tests of autonomic dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis

V. E. Drory, P. F. Nisipeanu, A. D. Korczyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autonomic dysfunction is frequent in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The sympathetic skin response (SSR) and the R‐R interval variation (RRIV) are simple electrophysiologic tests for the assessment of central and peripheral autonomic disturbances. Both tests were performed in 60 patients with clinically definite MS and 30 controls. The SSR was recorded simultaneously from both upper and both lower limbs. In all volunteers normal responses were recorded from the four limbs, but 39 patients (65%) showed abnormal responses in at least one limb. The reduction in amplitude of the response was correlated with patients' EDSS. In individual limbs, the SSR amplitude correlated with weakness, spasticity and cerebellar dysfunction, but was not sufficiently related to the deep sensory loss. The RRIV was abnormal in 48 MS patients (80%), as compared to the controls, but showed no significant relationship either to the EDSS or to the SSR. The sensitivity of SSR and RRIV is high and comparable with that of visual and somatosensory evoked potentials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-360
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • R‐R interval variation
  • autonomic testing
  • evoked potentials
  • multiple sclerosis
  • sympathetic skin response


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