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Fertil Steril. 1998 Aug;70(2):332-7.

Biochemical, metabolic, and vascular mechanisms in menopausal hot flashes.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. aa2613@wayne.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if increases in core body temperature preceding most hot flashes are caused by increased metabolic rate, peripheral vasoconstriction, or central noradrenergic activation.

DESIGN:

Laboratory physiological study.

SETTING:

University medical center.

PATIENT(S):

Fourteen healthy, postmenopausal women reporting frequent hot flashes.

INTERVENTION(S):

Data were recorded for 3 hours in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Core body temperature, mean skin temperature, respiratory exchange ratio, sternal skin conductance, plasma 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, and vanillylmandelic acid.

RESULT(S):

Twenty-nine physiologically defined hot flashes were recorded. Increases in core body temperature, measured with an ingested radiotelemetry capsule, preceded 76% of the flashes. Increased metabolic rate began after increased core temperature. Peripheral vasoconstriction did not occur. Plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, a metabolite of brain norepinephrine, increased significantly, whereas vanillylmandelic acid, a peripheral metabolite, did not.

CONCLUSION(S):

Core body temperature elevations preceding menopausal hot flashes are not driven by peripheral vasoconstriction or increased metabolic rate, but probably by a central noradrenergic mechanism.

PMID:
9696230
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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