Sympathetic reflex control of skeletal muscle blood flow in patients with congestive heart failure: evidence for beta-adrenergic circulatory control.
Mechanisms controlling forearm muscle vascular resistance (FMVR) during postural changes were investigated in seven patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF) and in seven control subjects with unimpaired left ventricular function. Relative brachioradial muscle blood flow was determined by the local 133Xe-washout technique. Unloading of baroreceptors with use of 45 degree upright tilt was comparably obtained in the patients with CHF and control subjects. Control subjects had substantially increased FMVR and heart rate to maintain arterial pressure whereas patients with CHF had decreased FMVR by 51 +/- 11% (mean +/- SEM, p less than .02) and had no increase in heart rate despite a fall in arterial pressure during upright tilt. The autoregulatory and local vasoconstrictor reflex responsiveness during postural changes in forearm vascular pressures were intact in both groups. Further investigations were carried out in the patients with CHF. The left axillary nerve plexus was blocked by local anesthesia in the seven patients. No alterations in forearm vascular pressures were observed. This blockade preserved the local regulation of FMVR but reversed the vasodilator response to upright tilt as FMVR increased by 30 +/- 7% (p less than .02). Blockade of central neural impulses to this limb combined with brachial arterial infusions of phentolamine completely abolished the humoral vasoconstriction in the tilted position. Infusions of propranolol to the contralateral brachial artery that did not affect baseline values of heart rate, arterial pressure, or the local reflex regulation of FMVR reversed the abnormal vasodilator response to upright tilt as FMVR increased by 42 +/- 12% (p less than .02). Despite augmented baseline values, forearm venous but not arterial plasma levels of epinephrine increased in the tilted position, as did arterial rather than venous plasma concentrations of norepinephrine in these patients. The results suggest a beta-adrenergic reflex mechanism elicited by spinal or supraspinal neural impulses and probably modulating a cotransmitter release in the patients with CHF.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association