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Circulation. 1996 Mar 1;93(5):953-9.

Failure of reflex venoconstriction during exercise in patients with vasovagal syncope.

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  • 1Heart Failure Research Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In this study, we tested two hypotheses. First, we tested the hypothesis that reflex constriction of the venous capacitance beds in patients with vasovagal syncope is impaired during both subhypotensive lower-body negative pressure. Second, we proposed that splenic venoconstriction may be impaired during exercise in patients with vasovagal syncope.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We evaluated 25 patients with vasovagal syncope (age, 45.0 +/- 15.9 years; 12 men, 13 women) and 24 control subjects (age, 41.3 +/- 13.7 years; 16 men, 8 women). A nuclear technique was used to assess changes in forearm venous tone during lower-body negative pressure and in splenic venous volume during cycle exercise. Changes in forearm vascular resistance (FVR) during cycle exercise were assessed with a strain-gauge plethysmography technique. The percentage reduction in unstressed forearm vascular volume during lower-body negative pressure was similar in patients and control subjects (9.0 +/- 8.0% versus 9.7 +/- 5.9%, P=NS). During exercise, splenic venous volume decreased less in patients than in control subjects (15.8 +/- 21.7% versus 42.6 +/- 12.6%, P < .0001). FVR decreased by 2 +/- 32% in patients but increased 108 +/- 90% in control subjects (P < .0001). There was no relation between percentage change in splenic volume and percentage change in FVR during exercise in either patients or control subjects (r= -.06, P=NS and r= -.18, P=NS, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with vasovagal syncope exhibit a failure of the normal increase in tone in the splenic capacitance bed and in forearm resistance vessels during dynamic exercise. Forearm venous tone increases normally during lower-body negative pressure.

PMID:
8598086
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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