Diurnal variations of cardiac rhythm, arterial pressure, and urinary catecholamines in borderline and established essential hypertension

American Heart Journal
F H MesserliE D Frohlich


Ambulatory continuous ECG and arterial pressure (BP) were recorded simultaneously (Delmar Avionics Pressurometer II) for 24 hours in 13 age-matched normotensive subjects, 11 patients with borderline hypertension (HBP), and in 10 patients with uncomplicated established essential HBP. Urinary concentrations of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine were simultaneously collected over four successive 4-hour periods and one 8-hour period. Prevalence and total number of ventricular and supraventricular ectopic beats was low and not affected by arterial BP. Twenty-four-hour rate (HR) and 4-hourly excretion of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine were comparable between normotensive and HBP persons and no correlation between urinary catecholamines and arterial BP (systolic, diastolic, or mean), HR, or prevalence of ectopic beats was found in any of the three groups or in the total study population. We conclude that HBP patients without ECG evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy do not have a higher prevalence of supraventricular or ventricular ectopic beats. Urinary catecholamines are not related to circadian fluctuations or variability in arterial BP, HR, or prevalence of ectopic beats.


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