Hemodynamics of the carotid artery after vasodilation in essential hypertension.
We performed simultaneous noninvasive measurements of common carotid artery and brachial artery hemodynamics in nine normal subjects and 10 subjects with sustained essential hypertension. In hypertensive subjects, brachial artery blood flow and forearm vascular resistance were in the normal range while carotid artery blood flow and carotid artery resistance were decreased and increased, respectively. The most important findings were the changes in the internal caliber of large arteries. Although the brachial and carotid artery diameters of hypertensive subjects were measured for the same level of mean arterial pressure, brachial artery diameter was significantly increased and carotid artery diameter was strictly normal as compared with values found in normal subjects. To assess whether carotid artery circulation could influence the baroreceptor reflex response to arteriolar vasodilation, carotid artery and brachial artery hemodynamics were measured in immediate succession in normotensive and hypertensive subjects before and after oral administration of cadralazine, a dihydralazine derivative. After cadralazine treatment, carotid artery tangential tension decreased in hypertensive subjects, and the changes were significantly correlated to the increase in heart rate. A similar correlation was found in normal subjects, but it was reset toward higher heart rates. These results indicate that the carotid artery does not behave like the brachial artery in response to a chronic increase in blood pressure. This behavior indicates intrinsic alterations of the arterial wall and might be involved in the resetting of the carotid baroreceptor reflex. Carotid artery circulation could play a role in hypertension by modulating the carotid baroreceptor mechanisms involved in the response to drug-induced arteriolar vasodilation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association