Hemodynamic mechanisms underlying prolonged post-faint hypotension

Wouter Wieling, Josien Rozenberg, Ingeborg K. Go-Schön, John M. Karemaker, Berend E. Westerhof, David L. Jardine

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During hypotension induced by tilt-table testing, low presyncopal blood pressure (BP) usually recovers within 1 min after tilt back. However, in some patients prolonged post faint hypotension (PPFH) is observed. We assessed the hemodynamics underlying PPFH in a retrospective study. Seven patients (2 females, aged 31-72 years) experiencing PPFH were studied. PPFH was defined as a systolic BP below 85 mmHg for at least 2 min after tilt back. In 6 out of 7 presyncope was provoked by 0.4 mg sublingual NTG, administered in the 60° head-up tilt position following head-up tilt for 20 min. Continuous BP was monitored and stroke volume (SV) was computed from pressure pulsations. Cardiac output (CO) was calculated from SV × heart rate (HR); and total peripheral resistance (TPR) from mean BP/CO. Left ventricular contractility was estimated by dP/dt (max) of finger pressure pulse. Systolic BP (SYS), diastolic BP (DIAS) and HR during PPFH were lower compared to baseline: SYS 75 ± 14 versus 121 ± 18 mmHg, DIAS 49 ± 9 versus 71 ± 9 mmHg and HR 52 ± 14 versus 67 ± 12 beats/min (p < 0.05). Marked hypotension was associated with a 47% fall in CO 3.1 ± 0.6 versus 5.9 ± 1.3 L/min (p < 0.05) and decreases in dP/dt, 277 ± 77 versus 759 ± 160 mmHg/s (p < 0.05). The difference in TPR was not significant 1.1 ± 0.3 versus 1.0 ± 0.3 MU (p = 0.229). In four patients, we attempted to treat PPFH by 30° head-down tilt. This intervention increased SYS only slightly (to 89 ± 12 mmHg). PPFH seems to be mediated by severe cardiac depression
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-413
JournalClinical autonomic research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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