Sympathetic system function and vascular reactivity in hypercalcemic patients.
To elucidate the pathophysiology of elevated blood pressure in hypercalcemic patients, we studied the plasma concentration of catecholamines and their major metabolites (as an index of sympathetic function) and the blood pressure response to norepinephrine infusion (vascular reactivity) in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, in patients with primary hypertension, and in normal controls. In addition, we evaluated the hemodynamic response to calcium infusion in normotensive and hypertensive subjects. Plasma levels of both norepinephrine and epinephrine and the metabolites normetanephrine and dihydroxyphenyl-glycol were significantly higher in the hypercalcemic group than in the other two groups. Norepinephrine infusion increased blood pressure by 8.5 +/- 1.4 mm Hg in the control group, by 19 +/- 2 mm Hg in the hypercalcemic group and by 29 +/- 3 mm Hg in the primary hypertensive group. Infusion of calcium produced a significant rise in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures and in peripheral resistance in the hypertensives, whereas in the normotensive group only systolic blood pressure increased, associated with a rise in cardiac output. We conclude that the observed increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system in hypercalcemia could account for the elevation in blood pressure and the enhanced vascular reactivity could explain the hypertension in some patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association