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Hypertension. 1993 Apr;21(4):398-405.

Circadian rhythms of blood pressure after liver transplantation.

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Hypertension Clinic, Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


Twenty-four-hour systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate profiles were recorded in 17 liver-transplanted patients by noninvasive ambulatory monitoring and were analyzed with the periodogram method. These recordings were compared with those of control subjects matched for age, sex, and daytime ambulatory blood pressure. Abnormal blood pressure patterns were found in seven of the 17 patients, whereas the other 10 patients had circadian blood pressure profiles that were not different from those of control subjects. These two groups of liver-transplanted patients did not differ in age, sex, oral dose of cyclosporine, specific serum cyclosporine level, and proportion of patients receiving azathioprine and antihypertensive medications. In contrast, the daily oral dose of prednisolone was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the seven patients with abnormal circadian blood pressure patterns. Moreover, only the daily oral dose of prednisolone was inversely correlated with the magnitude of the nighttime systolic and diastolic blood pressure decrease (r = -0.64 and r = -0.66, p < 0.01). In contrast to blood pressure, patients and control subjects had similar circadian heart rate variations. We conclude that exogenous glucocorticoid administration may have a dose-dependent effect on the nighttime blood pressure fall and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of the abnormal circadian blood pressure profiles observed in liver-transplanted patients.

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