Post Head Injury Autonomic Complications Workup

Updated: Mar 29, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Appropriate lab studies include the following:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) - To reveal potential infection (Elevated white blood cell and/or platelet counts may signal infection.)

  • Blood cultures - To rule out sepsis

  • Sputum cultures - To rule out pneumonia

  • Urine cultures and urinalysis - To rule out urinary tract infection

  • Sputum Gram stain - To rule out infection

  • Plasma catecholamine levels - May be of interest acutely but are not required for the diagnosis

  • Thyroid panel - To rule out thyroid storm

  • Random chemistry panel - To rule out neuroleptic malignant syndrome

  • Plasma creatine kinase and troponin levels - To rule out acute MI, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and serotonin syndrome


Imaging Studies

Appropriate imaging studies include the following:

  • Chest radiograph - To rule out pneumonia and atelectasis

  • Duplex ultrasonogram - To rule out DVT

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) - To rule out MI

  • Head computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan - To rule out abscess, encephalitis, or hydrocephalus



Lumbar puncture may be performed to rule out meningitis.