The autonomic laboratory

Phillip A. Low, Tonette L. Opfer-Gehrking

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The autonomic nervous system can now be studied quantitatively, noninvasively, and reproducibly in a clinical autonomic laboratory. The approach at the Mayo Clinic is to study the post-ganglionic sympathetic nerve fibers of peripheral nerve (using the quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test [QSART]), the parasympathetic nerves to the heart (cardiovaga tests). Patient preparation is extremely important, since the state of the patient influences the results of autonomic function tests. The autonomic technologist in this evolving field needs to have a solid core of knowledge of autonomic physiology and autonomic function tests, followed by training in the performance of these tests in a standardized fashion. The range and utilization of tests of autonomic function will likely continue to evolve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalNeurodiagnostic Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Baroreflexes
  • Cardiovagal tests
  • Parasympathetic nervous system
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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