Circulating catecholamine levels in human and experimental hypertension.
The radiometric enzymatic technique of Coyle and Henry (J. Neurochem. 21: 61-67, 1973) was adapted to the measurement of serum catecholamines. This technique requires less time than other enzymatic techniques and is sensitive to quantities as small as 25 pg. In normotensive subjects lying supine for 20 minutes serum catecholamine levels averaged 0.218 ng/ml, with no obvious sex or age difference. Under these standardized conditions, the circulating catecholamine levels for a given individual are highly reproducible on different days over a period of several months. In 22 patients with essential hypertension, circulating levels were significantly higher, with an average of 0.370 ng/ml. More than 50% of the hypertensive patients had values greater than the highest value measured in normotensives. Systolic blood pressure and heart rate were significantly higher in the hypertensive group with elevated levels of circulating catecholamines than in the hypertensive group with normal levels. In one model of experimental hypertension, produced in the rat by administration of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) and saline for 4-8 weeks, serum catecholamines were significantly elevated. These findings suggest that the sympathetic system may play an important role in maintaining an elevated blood pressure in experimental hypertension and in a significant proportion of patients with essential hypertension.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association