To investigate autonomic mechanisms underlying persistent hypotension in long-term hemodialysis patients, high-frequency (HF, > 0.15 Hz) and low-frequency (LF, 0.04-0.15 Hz) components of heart rate variability and plasma noradrenaline were analyzed in 10 persistently hypotensive hemodialysis patients (group H), 11 normotensive patients (group N) and 10 healthy controls (group C). The HF amplitude, an index of cardiac parasympathetic activity, and LF-to-HF ratio, an index of sympathetic predominance, were in the order of groups C > N > H (p < 0.01). While the HF amplitude decreased with standing in all three groups (p < 0.05 for all), the LF-to-HF ratio increased only in groups N and C (p < 0.05 for both) but not in group H. Conversely, plasma noradrenaline level was in the order of groups C < N < H (p < 0.001). Furthermore, while the LF-to-HF ratio correlated positively with the plasma noradrenaline level in group C (r = 0.73, p < 0.01), it correlated negatively in group H (r = 0.69, p < 0.05). These results indicate that an impairment in both parasympathetic and sympathetic functions exists in hemodialysis patients with persistent hypotension, and that the apparent sympathetic dysfunction could result from a reduction in cardiovascular responsiveness to sympathetic stimulation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)