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Clin Auton Res. 1992 Jun;2(3):177-82.

Isolated failure of noradrenergic transmission in a case with orthostatic hypotension and hyperactivity of gastro-colic reflex.

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  • 1Institute of Neurology, University of Bologna, Italy.


We describe a 37-year-old man with a long-standing history of impotence and urgency of defaecation. The latter invariably followed the ingestion of food. Studies of cardiovascular autonomic function disclosed asymptomatic orthostatic hypotension due to isolated sympathetic noradrenergic failure with intact cardiac vagal control. There were no other neurological abnormalities. Levels of plasma noradrenaline and urinary vanillylmandelic acid were very low but plasma dopamine and urinary homovanillic acid were normal. A low level of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase activity was detected in plasma. The patient's parents were first cousins. The parents, the brother and the sister were investigated and clinical and biochemical studies showed no abnormalities. We conclude that this is a further observation of orthostatic hypotension due to isolated adrenergic failure with clinical and biochemical features different from cases previously described.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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