Dysautonomia and Clinical Outcome in Vegetative State

Giuliano Dolce, Maria Quintieri, Elio Leto, Michele Milano, Antonio Pileggi, Vincenzo Lagani, Loris Pignolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)


A dramatic disorder tentatively attributed to diencephalic-hypothalamic damage or dysfunction, dysautonomia, affects recovery from brain injury. Its incidence, correlation with etiology, and relevance as a predictor of outcome were retrospectively surveyed in 333 patients in vegetative state (VS) for more than 2 weeks at admission. Outcome was assessed according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale. Data were treated statistically by multi-variate analyses. Dysautonomia occurred in 26.1% of patients, with greater incidence among post-traumatic (31.9%) than non-traumatic (15.8%) patients. Outcome was worse among non-traumatic than post-traumatic patients irrespective of dysautonomia, and worst among non-traumatic patients with dysautonomia. Dysautonomia proved common among patients in VS (with incidence depending on etiology and age) and influenced the patients' outcome through mechanisms still to be defined, but conceivably mediated by diencephalic-hypothalamic unbalance.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1444
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2021
Externally publishedYes


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