Early Pregabalin Treatment Suppresses Autonomic Dysreflexia Following Spinal Cord Injury in Rats
Smyth, Robert Michael
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Following spinal cord injury (SCI), up to 70% of patients develop a condition known as autonomic dysreflexia (AD). This study investigates the use of Pregabalin as a preemptive treatment to mitigate the development of AD following SCI in an animal model. Saline-treated and dPGB rats (first Pregabalin treatment 7 days post-SCI) demonstrated typical signs of AD, with mean arterial pressure (MAP) increases of 23.5% and 27.4% respectively, following colon distension. In contrast, iPGB animals (first Pregabalin treatment 1 hour post-SCI) had MAP increases of 14.6%; significantly lower than saline-treated animals. Additionally, iPGB animals had significantly lower urine volumes than saline-treated animals on days 9 and 10 post-SCI, indicating a more rapid return of spontaneous bladder voiding. It was concluded that only treatment with Pregabalin immediately following SCI can alleviate large increases in blood pressure that accompany AD episodes. Immunostaining for substance P revealed a significantly higher density in both the dorsal horn and central autonomic area in iPGB animals when compared to saline-treated and uninjured animals, indicating a possible mechanism of sympathetic inhibition following iPGB treatment.