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Clin Auton Res. 2011 Dec;21(6):405-13. doi: 10.1007/s10286-011-0134-6. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Hemodynamic mechanisms underlying prolonged post-faint hypotension.

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Department of Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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