Neurogenic shock is a form of distributive shock resulting from the loss of sympathetic tone in the autonomic nervous system, often due to spinal cord injury above T6 or severe brain injury. This leads to hypotension, bradycardia, and vasodilation.
Spinal shock, on the other hand, is a transient state of areflexia and loss of sensorimotor function below the level of spinal cord injury. It is a physiological response immediately following a spinal cord injury, characterized by the absence of reflexes and muscle weakness. It may last from hours to weeks and can improve once the secondary injury, such as swelling, resolves.
The differences between neurogenic shock and spinal shock.
Neurogenic shock primarily involves a drop in blood pressure due to autonomic nervous system disruption, while spinal shock is characterized by a loss of reflexes and motor function.
Neurogenic shock is usually sustained, whereas spinal shock due to incomplete spinal cord injuries may be temporary and reversible.
The similarities between neurogenic shock and spinal shock.
Both neurogenic and spinal shocks are associated with spinal cord injuries.
They can cause a loss of function and sensation below the level of injury.
In summary, it is possible for a patient with a spinal cord injury above T6 to experience both neurogenic shock and spinal shock at the same time.
While neurogenic shock is characterized by hypotension, bradycardia, and temperature dysregulation, spinal shock is characterized by flaccid paralysis, loss of reflexes, and loss of bowel and bladder control.