Orthostatic hypotension : Diagnosis and therapy.

06:00 EDT 22nd April 2011 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Orthostatic hypotension : Diagnosis and therapy."

Syncope is a frequent clinical event in the general population and occurs in up to every second patient during their lifetime. Reflex syncope is the most prevalent mechanism and is often triggered by orthostatic stress. Orthostatic hypotension (OH) represents a rare cause in young patients but is an important differential diagnosis in the aged. The Framingham study revealed an increase in the incidence of OH-triggered syncope from 5.7 events/1000 person-years at the age of 60-69 to 11.1 in men who are 70-79 years of age. OH often constitutes a chronic, debilitating illness with significant reduction in the quality of life. Important causes are volume loss, side effects of different vasoactive drugs, and neurodegenerative or secondary autonomic diseases following long-standing diabetes or amyloid disease. OH is difficult to treat. The therapeutic goal is to improve postural symptoms, standing time, and prevention of syncopal events. Drug therapy alone is never adequate. Because orthostatic stress varies during the day, a patient-tailored approach that emphasizes education and several general actions is recommended together with physical therapy and isometric exercise maneuvers. Moderate and severe cases require additional drug treatment to increase peripheral vascular resistance.


I. Medizinische Klinik, Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167, Mannheim, Deutschland, rainer.schimpf@umm.de.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Herzschrittmachertherapie & Elektrophysiologie
ISSN: 1435-1544


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Symptoms of cerebral hypoperfusion or autonomic overaction which develop while the subject is standing, but are relieved on recumbency. Types of this include NEUROCARDIOGENIC SYNCOPE; POSTURAL ORTHOSTATIC TACHYCARDIA SYNDROME; and neurogenic ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION. (From Noseworthy, JH., Neurological Therapeutics Principles and Practice, 2007, p2575-2576)

A significant drop in BLOOD PRESSURE after assuming a standing position. Orthostatic hypotension is a finding, and defined as a 20-mm Hg decrease in systolic pressure or a 10-mm Hg decrease in diastolic pressure 3 minutes after the person has risen from supine to standing. Symptoms generally include DIZZINESS, blurred vision, and SYNCOPE.

A syndrome of ORTHOSTATIC INTOLERANCE combined with excessive upright TACHYCARDIA, and usually without associated ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION. All variants have in common an excessively reduced venous return to the heart (central HYPOVOLEMIA) while upright.

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A degenerative disease of the AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM that is characterized by idiopathic ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION and a greatly reduced level of CATECHOLAMINES. No other neurological deficits are present.


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