Altered cardiac responsiveness and regulation in the normal cardiac output type of borderlind hlpertension.
Of 145 patients with borderline hypertension, 30% had increased resting cardiac index (QI), whereas the remainder had normal values. The specific aim of this study was to investigate cardiac regulation in patients who had normal resting QI. Eighty-five control subjects were used for comparison. At rest, patients with normal QI showed evidence of decreased parasympathetic inhibition; the QI after injection of atropine increased less than in control subjects. After complete cardiac autonomic blockade with propranolol and atropine, QI and stroke volume were significantly lower in patients than in control subjects. The mechanism of this low QI was further analyzed. Central blood volume, which strongly correlates with stroke volume, was used as an estimate of the cardiac venous filling. After blockade, stroke volume was decreased in patients, but central blood volume was normal. Patients also showed a decreased heart rate and QI response to infusion of isoproterenol. It is therefore postulated that two components may be responsible for the low QI in the "denervated" heart: patients exhibit a decreased responsiveness to sympathetic stimulation, and they may also be less responsive to venous filling. Behind the facade of cardiac normality in these borderline hypertensive patients with normal cardiac output, there is evidence of altered autonomic control of the heart (decreased vagal inhibition) and of changed cardiac response to sympathetic stimulation and possibly to venous filling.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association