Dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency. A genetic disorder of cardiovascular regulation.
Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) deficiency is a genetic disorder in which affected patients cannot synthesize norepinephrine, epinephrine, and octopamine in either the central nervous system or the peripheral autonomic neurons. Dopamine acts as a false neurotransmitter in their noradrenergic neurons. Neonates with DBH deficiency have had episodic hypothermia, hypoglycemia, and hypotension, but survivors sometimes cope relatively well until late childhood when overwhelming orthostatic hypotension profoundly limits their activities. The hypotension may be so severe that clonic seizures supervene. Most currently recognized patients are young or middle-aged adults. The diagnosis is established by the observation of severe orthostatic hypotension in a patient whose plasma norepinephrine/dopamine ratio is much less than one.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association