Relationship between plasma norepinephrine and sympathetic neural activity.
For circulating norepinephrine (NE) to reflect sympathetic activity validly, plasma NE should show an intensity-dependent increase during sympathetic stimulation and decrease during sympathetic inhibition, and circulating NE should correlate with more directly obtained measures of sympathetic activity. Review of published evidence indicates that NE in peripheral plasma satisfies these criteria. However, models used to explain the relationship between circulating NE and sympathetic activity must take into account processes intervening between the synaptic cleft and free NE in the circulation and, since sympathetic outflow is regionalized, the contributions of specific vascular beds to circulating NE. In this report a model is presented where removal processes for NE are viewed as acting in series to produce a gradient in NE concentrations from synapse to plasma, and where the relative contributions of specific vascular beds are calculated from the arteriovenous difference in plasma NE across those beds and the percentage of cardiac output distributed to them. In general, venous plasma NE provides a useful estimation of average sympathetic outflow.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association