Medical Definition of Shy-Drager syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Shy-Drager syndrome: A progressive disorder of the central and sympathetic nervous systems, also called multiple system atrophy with postural hypotension (an excessive drop in blood pressure when the patient stands up, causing dizziness or momentary blackouts). Symptoms of autonomic nervous system failure, such as constipation, impotence in men, and urinary incontinence, usually predominate early in the course of the disease. Later symptoms can include impaired speech, difficulties with breathing and swallowing, and inability to sweat (anhidrosis). Shy-Drager syndrome usually ends in death within 7 to 10 years of the diagnosis.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/25/2017

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