Increased norepinephrine levels during catheterization in patients with spinal cord injury

Faye Y. Chiou-Tan, Susan G. Eisele, James X. Song, Jon Markowski, Martin Javors, Claudia S. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The hypothesis for this study was that catecholamine levels increase during urinary catheterization in human patients with spinal cord injury. Catecholamine levels, blood pressure, and pulse were measured prospectively in 40 subjects at baseline and during urinary catheterization. Results showed a significant increase in norepinephrine levels from baseline 245 ± 240 pg (standard deviation (SD)) to 314 ± 311 pg (SD) during catheterization (P = 0.018, Wilcoxon's). Results also showed a nonsignificant increase in epinephrine levels from baseline (56 ± 70 pg, SD) to catheterization (84 ± 125 pg, SD; P = 0.35, Wilcoxon's). Systolic blood pressure increased from 114 to 124 mm Hg (P = 0.004, paired t test). Diastolic blood pressure increased from 75 to 78 mm Hg (P = 0.11, paired t test). There was no significant change in diastolic blood pressure or pulse (P = 0.11 and P = 0.29, respectively, paired t test). In conclusion, norepinephrine levels increased during catheterization in patients with spinal cord injury. Knowledge of catecholamine levels in this process may assist in determining both pathophysiology and potential pharmacologic treatment options in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-353
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic Dysreflexia
  • Catecholamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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