Postganglionic Sudomotor Dysfunction and Brain Glucose Hypometabolism in Patients with Multiple System Atrophy

Seung Woo Kim, Seok Jong Chung, Sangwon Lee, Kyeongtaek Oh, Sun Kook Yoo, Phil Hyu Lee, Seung Min Kim, Ha Young Shin, Mijin Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sudomotor dysfunction is common in patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA). Postganglionic sudomotor dysfunction in MSA, which can be assessed using quantitative sudomotor axon reflex testing (QSART), results from the degeneration of preganglionic sympathetic neurons and direct loss of postganglionic fibers. Objective: We investigate whether abnormal QSART responses in patients with MSA are associated with disease severity. Methods: In this retrospective study, patients with probable MSA who underwent both 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) and autonomic function tests were included. Autonomic function test results were integrated divided into three sub-scores, including sudomotor, cardiovagal, and adrenergic sub-scores. The sudomotor sub-score represented postganglionic sudomotor function. Unified Multiple System Atrophy Rating Scale (UMSARS) Part I, Part II, and sum of Part I and II scores (Part I + II) to reflect disease severity and 18F-FDG-PET/CT results were collected. Results: Of 74 patients with MSA, 62.2%demonstrated abnormal QSART results. The UMSARS Part I + II score was significantly higher in the abnormal QSART group than in the normal QSART group (p = 0.037). In the regression analysis, both UMSARS Part I (β= 1.185, p = 0.013) and Part II (β= 1.266, p = 0.021) scores were significantly associated with the sudomotor sub-score. On 18F-FDG-PET/CT, the abnormal QSART group exhibited more severely decreased metabolic activity in the cerebellum and basal ganglia in patients with MSA-P and MSA-C, respectively. The sudomotor sub-score was significantly associated with regional metabolism in these areas. Conclusion: Patients with MSA and postganglionic sudomotor dysfunction may have worse disease severity and greater neuropathological burden than those without.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1256
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Parkinson's disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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