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The paper reviews mechanisms underlying autonomic disorders, with a focus on cardiovascular dysfunction. Neurosurgical approaches are described for medically refractory hypertension and orthostatic hypotension. After review of microvascular decompression of the rostral ventrolateral medulla, stereotactic CT and MRI guided deep brain stimulation of the periaqueductal grey matter (PAG) is evaluated. Results are presented from patient studies showing reductions in blood pressure with ventral PAG stimulation and increases in blood pressure with dorsal PAG stimulation. A rationale for the treatment of autonomic disorders by neurosurgical intervention is discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Biomed Imaging Interv J

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Autonomic, deep brain stimulation, microvascular decompression, neurosurgery, periaqueductal grey, rostral ventrolateral medulla