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Arch Physiol Biochem. 2001 Jul;109(3):215-22.

Blood pressure response to standing in the diagnosis of autonomic neuropathy: the EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study.

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First Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.


Autonomic neuropathy is associated with poor prognosis. Cardiovascular reflexes are essential for the diagnosis of autonomic nerve dysfunction. Blood pressure response to standing is the most simple test for the evaluation of sympathetic integrity, however it is still discussed which diagnostic criteria of abnormal response should be considered as optimal. The EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study involved the examination of randomly selected Type 1 diabetic patients from 31 centres in 16 European counties. Data from 3007 patients were available for the present evaluation. Two tests of autonomic function (response of heart rate /R-R ratio/ and blood pressure from lying to standing) just as the frequency of feeling faint on standing up were assessed. R-R ratio was abnormal in 24% of patients. According to different diagnostic criteria of abnormal BP response to standing (>30 mmHg, >20 mmHg, and >10 mmHg fall in systolic BP), the frequency of abnormal results was 5.9%, 18% and 32%, respectively (p < 0.001). The frequency of feeling faint on standing was 18%, thus, it was identical with the prevalence of abnormal blood pressure response to standing when >20 mmHg fall in systolic blood pressure was considered as abnormal. Feeling faint on standing correlated significantly with both autonomic test results (p < 0.001). A fall >20 mmHg in systolic blood pressure after standing up seems to be the most reliable criterion for the assessment of orthostatic hypotension in the diagnosis of autonomic neuropathy in patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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