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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Chronobiological evaluation of sympathoadrenergic function in cirrhosis. Relationship with arterial pressure and heart rate.

Intraday activity of the adrenergic system was investigated in 7 healthy controls and in cirrhotic patients without ascites (group 1, 7 cases) and with ascites (group 2, 9 cases) by determining the urinary norepinephrine and vanillylmandelic acid excretions at 4-h intervals for 24 h. Mean arterial pressure and heart rate were also recorded. In controls, the statistical evaluation by the cosinor method showed a circadian rhythm of such variables, with zenith in the morning and nadir at night. Intraday changes of urinary excretion of norepinephrine were closely related to arterial pressure and heart rate in most subjects. The most important change in cirrhotic patients was the achronia [no detection of a statistically significant (p greater than 0.05) rhythm] in urinary excretion of norepinephrine and arterial pressure. This occurred not only in group 2 patients, who had lower arterial pressure and higher NE mesors than controls (p less than 0.05), but also in group 1 patients, whose mesors were comparable to controls. The statistical significance of heart rate rhythmicity was preserved in patients, but its zenith was progressively displaced toward evening (group 1) and night hours (group 2, whose mesor was increased). Changes in urinary excretion of vanillylmandelic acid roughly paralleled those of norepinephrine both in controls and patients, but they did not significantly increase even in the group with ascites. In both groups of cirrhotic patients, the correlation between urinary excretion of norepinephrine, arterial pressure, and heart rate within the same subject was lost in most cases. This chronobiological study showed that the sympathoadrenergic activity can be deranged also in the early stages of cirrhosis, and suggested that an altered control of cardiovascular homeostasis is present even under steady state conditions. This alteration might blunt adrenergic responses to stress conditions.[1]


  1. Chronobiological evaluation of sympathoadrenergic function in cirrhosis. Relationship with arterial pressure and heart rate. Bernardi, M., Trevisani, F., De Palma, R., Ligabue, A., Capani, F., Baraldini, M., Gasbarrini, G. Gastroenterology (1987) [Pubmed]
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