Humoral mechanisms in the pathogenesis of postprandial hypotension in patients with essential hypertension.Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2001 Jun 15; 113(11-12):424-32.WK
To examine the role of catecholamines and insulin in the development of postprandial hypotension (PPH) in hypertensive patients.
Forty patients with essential hypertension (25 men, 15 women, mean age 68 +/- 2 years).
Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded in all subjects immediately after a 1903 kJ test meal and at 15-minute intervals for up to 1 hour after the meal. At these time points, circulating levels of norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine and C-peptide were measured.
Twenty-three patients (58%) had PPH. By 15 minutes norepinephrine had significantly increased in PPH-negative subjects while it rose more slowly in PPH-positive patients and peaked by 45 minutes after the meal. Norepinephrine levels in 15 minutes were lower in PPH-positive than in PPH-negative ones (159.8 +/- 9.7 vs. 212.3 +/- 21.1 pg/ml, p = 0.01). Epinephrine levels rose only in PPH-negative subjects and did not differ significantly at the different time points. However, the area under curve analysis showed significantly lower epinephrine values in PPH-positive subjects (2903 + 247 pg.min.ml-1 vs. 3710 + 284 pg.min.ml-1, p = 0.03). Dopamine increased in both groups, although it was lower in subjects with PPH during the entire study (15 minutes: 68.6 +/- 3.7 vs. 93.7 +/- 11.7 pg/ml, p = 0.02; 30 minutes: 68.8 +/- 3.7 vs. 86.1 +/- 7.7 pg/ml, p = 0.03; 45 minutes: 60.5 +/- 4.2 vs. 79.7 +/- 5.2 pg/ml, p = 0.006). The postprandial C-peptide response did not differ between patients with PPH and those without PPH.
In patients with essential hypertension, a marked decline in postprandial systolic blood pressure is associated with lower postprandial levels of norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine as compared to subjects without postprandial hypotension. This indicates that impaired sympatho-adrenal activation after ingestion of a meal may contribute to the development of PPH. Insulin appears not to be involved in the pathogenesis of postprandial hypotension.