National Dysautonomia Research Foundation
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Baroreflex Failure

Baroreflex Failure: Often confused with efferent Autonomic Failure, baroreflex failure may present itself by essential hypertension, uncontrolled severe hypertension, pheochromocytoma, or, less commonly, damage to the glossopharyngeal or vagal nerves.

Patients with baroreflex failure may present with severe hypertension, either sustained or episodic. Blood pressures can reach 170-280/110-135. Accompanying tachycardia may suggest the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma, which is supported by sensations of warmth and or flushing, palpitations, headache, and diaphoresis.

Etiologies may include:

Surgery and irradiation for cancer of the throat

Injury to the contralateral glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves, also known as the familial paraganglioma syndrome

Cell loss bilaterally in the nuclei of the solitary tract in the setting of a degenerative neurologic disease of medullary and higher structures.


For many of those who suffer from Baroreflex failure, an etiology is unattainable.


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The National Dysautonomia Research Foundation (NDRF) has established this site to help inform afflicted patients, physicians and the general public on the various forms of Dysautonomia. It is our desire to give timely, as well as, accurate information, however NDRF will not be responsible for the misinterpretation of the information provided.  Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to .

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Last modified: Monday January 28, 2008.