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Clin Sci (Lond). 2006 Feb;110(2):255-63.

Increased plasma angiotensin II in postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is related to reduced blood flow and blood volume.

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Center for Pediatric Hypotension, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.


POTS (postural tachycardia syndrome) is associated with low blood volume and reduced renin and aldosterone; however, the role of Ang (angiotensin) II has not been investigated. Previous studies have suggested that a subset of POTS patients with increased vasoconstriction related to decreased bioavailable NO (nitric oxide) have decreased blood volume. Ang II reduces bioavailable NO and is integral to the renin-Ang system. Thus, in the present study, we investigated the relationship between blood volume, Ang II, renin, aldosterone and peripheral blood flow in POTS patients. POTS was diagnosed by 70 degrees upright tilt, and supine calf blood flow, measured by venous occlusion plethysmography, was used to subgroup POTS patients. A total of 23 POTS patients were partitioned; ten with low blood flow, eight with normal flow and five with high flow. There were ten healthy volunteers. Blood volume was measured by dye dilution. All biochemical measurements were performed whilst supine. Blood volume was decreased in low-flow POTS (2.14 +/- 0.12 litres/m2) compared with controls (2.76 +/- 0.20 litres/m2), but not in the other subgroups. PRA (plasma renin activity) was decreased in low-flow POTS compared with controls (0.49 +/- 0.12 compared with 0.90 +/- 0.18 ng of Ang respectively), whereas plasma Ang II was increased (89 +/- 20 compared with 32 +/- 4 ng/l), but not in the other subgroups. PRA correlated with aldosterone (r = +0.71) in all subjects. PRA correlated negatively with blood volume (r = -0.72) in normal- and high-flow POTS, but positively (r = +0.65) in low-flow POTS. PRA correlated positively with Ang II (r = +0.76) in normal- and high-flow POTS, but negatively (r = -0.83) in low-flow POTS. Blood volume was negatively correlated with Ang II (r = -0.66) in normal- and high-flow POTS and in five low-flow POTS patients. The remaining five low-flow POTS patients had reduced blood volume and increased Ang II which was not correlated with blood volume. The data suggest that plasma Ang II is increased in low-flow POTS patients with hypovolaemia, which may contribute to local blood flow dysregulation and reduced NO bioavailability.

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