Relation of blood volume and blood pressure in orthostatic intolerance.

Jacob G, Biaggioni I, Mosqueda-Garcia R, Robertson RM, Robertson D
Am J Med Sci. 1998 315 (2): 95-100

PMID: 9472908 · DOI:10.1097/00000441-199802000-00005

A complex but crucial relationship exists between blood volume and blood pressure in human subjects; it has been recognized that in essential hypertension, renovascular hypertension, and pheochromocytoma, the relationship between plasma volume and diastolic blood pressure is an inverse one. This phenomenon has not been studied in individuals with low normal and reduced blood pressures. Orthostatic intolerance is a commonly encountered abnormality in blood pressure regulation often associated with tachycardia in the standing position. Most of these patients have varying degrees of reduced blood volume. We tested the hypothesis that the relationship previously found between plasma volume and diastolic blood pressure in pressor states would also hold in orthostatic intolerance. We studied 16 patients with a history of symptomatic orthostatic intolerance associated with an elevation in plasma norepinephrine in the upright posture and hypovolemia in 9 patients and normovolemia in 7 patients. Our studies demonstrate an inverse relationship between plasma volume and diastolic blood pressure in patients with orthostatic intolerance. This finding also holds for the change in diastolic blood pressure in response to upright posture. In this relationship, patients with orthostatic intolerance with high plasma norepinephrine resemble those with essential hypertension, renovascular hypertension, and pheochromocytoma. We conclude that in a variety of conditions at both ends of the blood pressure spectrum, the seemingly paradoxical association of hypovolemia and diastolic blood pressure is preserved.

MeSH Terms (17)

Adolescent Adrenal Gland Neoplasms Adult Blood Pressure Blood Volume Diastole Female Humans Hypertension Hypertension, Renovascular Hypotension, Orthostatic Male Norepinephrine Pheochromocytoma Posture Regression Analysis Systole

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