Blunted sympathetic response to cardiopulmonary receptor unloading in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy. A possible compensatory role of atrial natriuretic factor.
To investigate whether or not hypertension with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) modifies the mechanisms underlying the vascular adjustments to orthostatic stress, we evaluated the hemodynamic and hormonal effects of graded lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) (-10 and -40 mm Hg) before and after sympathetic blockade in 10 hypertensive patients with LVH and in five age- and sex-matched normotensive subjects. In control conditions, LBNP elicited comparable vasoconstrictor responses in the forearm in the two groups. In normotensive subjects, graded increases in plasma norepinephrine and plasma renin activity (PRA) and reductions in plasma immunoreactive atrial natriuretic factor (irANF) were recorded. In hypertensive patients, a significant increase in plasma norepinephrine and plasma renin activity was obtained only with the higher level of LBNP, whereas irANF plasma levels decreased progressively. In both groups, sympathetic blockade abolished the increase in plasma renin activity and did not modify the changes in plasma irANF induced by both levels of LBNP in control conditions. The vascular response to -10 mm Hg LBNP remained unchanged after sympathetic blockade in both groups. However, after sympathetic blockade, the vasoconstrictor response to -40 mm Hg LBNP in normal subjects was no longer different from that elicited by -10 mm Hg LBNP, whereas in hypertensive patients the vasoconstrictor response was still significantly higher than that induced by -10 mm Hg LBNP. Direct correlations between the percent changes in forearm vascular resistance and those in plasma norepinephrine and plasma renin activity were found only in normal subjects in control conditions but were not observed after sympathetic blockade. On the contrary, the inverse correlation between changes in irANF plasma levels and in forearm vascular resistance found in control conditions in both groups was still observed after sympathetic blockade. In a separate group of hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy, exogenous infusion of ANF induced an increase in venous irANF plasma levels of the same magnitude of the decrease evoked by LBNP and significantly reduced forearm vascular resistance. These data show that in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy, sympathetic activation does not contribute to the vascular response to cardiopulmonary receptor unloading (-10 mm Hg LBNP). They also suggest that in these patients inhibition of ANF secretion may play a role in the response to a low level of LBNP so that the peripheral vasoconstriction induced by cardiopulmonary receptor unloading is comparable to that observed in normal subjects despite the lack of appropriate sympathetic reflex vasoconstriction.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association