Renin responses in patients with orthostatic hypotension: case reports.Angiology. 1993 Jul; 44(7):586-92.A
In orthostatic hypotensive patients renin is reported to increase in response to head-up tilt unless the lesion involves postganglionic sympathetic efferent nerves. The authors examined responses of plasma renin activity (PRA) to acute blood pressure reduction in 4 patients with orthostatic hypotension. When the coexistence of normal plasma norepinephrine (PNE) and normal or high-normal pressor response to alpha stimulant is considered to be a sign of preserved function of postganglionic fibers, 2 of the patients had sympathetic lesions mainly confined to central and/or preganglionic fibers. They were diagnosed as having multiple system atrophy (MSA). The other 2 were diagnosed as having idiopathic orthostatic hypotension with possible postganglionic lesions. Although 1 MSA patient showed an increase in PRA from 2.0 to 4.7 ng/mL/hr in response to the tilt, the other MSA patient showed no PRA response to the tilt. The head-up tilt did not provoke an apparent PRA response in patients with idiopathic orthostatic hypotension. The authors infused sodium nitroprusside (SNP) in the 3 patients whose PRA did not respond to the head-up tilt. The infusion decreased blood pressure by 40 mmHg or more, but PRA responses were inappropriately small or suppressed. In all cases, PNE did not respond at all to the head-up tilt and to the infusion of SNP. These findings suggest that possible preservation of postganglionic fibers does not necessarily indicate an intact responsiveness of PRA. The PRA profiling may not be an accurate predictor for the site of the fiber degeneration in orthostatic hypotension.