Enhanced sympathetic nervous activity after intravenous propranolol in ischaemic heart disease: plasma noradrenaline splanchnic blood flow and mixed venous oxygen saturation at rest and during exercise

European Journal of Clinical Investigation
J F HansenN J Christensen


To study the mechanisms by which acute beta-adrenergic blockade may change the activity of the sympathetic nervous system we have measured haemodynamic responses including splanchnic blood flow in twenty-three patients with ischaemic heart disease at rest and during supine exercise before and after i.v. injection of 0.039 mmol (10 mg) dl-propranolol. After propranolol both at rest and on exercise blood pressure, cardiac output and heart rate decreased, while splanchnic vascular resistance increased; mixed venous oxygen saturation decreased whilst arterial oxygen saturation and oxygen uptake were unchanged. Plasma noradrenaline increased after propranolol, values correlating with mixed venous oxygen saturation and splanchnic vascular resistance, both at rest and during exercise before and after propranolol, only at rest was there any correlation with arterial blood pressure. The increase in sympathetic nervous activity after propranolol may be due to a reduction in cardiac output and thereby alteration of the metabolic state (oxygen or related factors) in tissues. Afferent neural signals from the tissues may play a significant role in the regulation of sympathetic nervous activity.


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