PMID: 2906953Dec 1, 1988Paper

Effects of acute and chronic beta-adrenoceptor blockade on baroreflex sensitivity in humans

Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System
J S FlorasP Sleight


To determine whether beta-adrenoceptor blockade lowers blood pressure by potentiating arterial baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), we compared the effect of acute i.v. and chronic oral beta-blockade on the BRS (phenylephrine technique) of 51 subjects with essential hypertension. Subjects were randomly assigned in a double-blind protocol to one of atenolol, metoprolol, pindolol or propranolol. There was an increase in BRS, unrelated to changes in heart rate, after both acute and chronic beta-blockade. This effect was most evident in younger and less hypertensive subjects. Decreases in blood pressure after 5-months' treatment were unrelated to increases in BRS, indicating that the hypotensive action of these drugs is not dependent upon augmented baroreflex control of heart rate. Only propranolol, of the 4 beta-blockers, increased BRS significantly after acute and chronic treatment. The acute effect of propranolol was significantly different from that of i.v. metoprolol (P less than 0.008) but the effect of long-term treatment with propanolol was not significantly different from that of the other 3 beta-blockers. We conclude that the impaired reflex regulation of heart rate can be improved in younger and mild-to-moderate hypertensive pa...Continue Reading


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