Metabolic and cardiovascular responses to epinephrine in diabetic autonomic neuropathy

J Hilsted, E Richter, S Madsbad, B Tronier, N J Christensen, P Hildebrandt, M Damkjaer, H Galbo

56 Citationer (Scopus)


Norepinephrine-induced vasoconstriction, which is mediated by alpha-adrenergic receptors, is accentuated in patients with autonomic neuropathy. In contrast, responses mediated by beta-adrenergic receptors, including vasodilatation and metabolic changes, have not been evaluated in these patients. To study these responses, we administered epinephrine in a graded intravenous infusion (0.5 to 5 micrograms per minute) to seven diabetic patients without neuropathy, seven diabetic patients with autonomic neuropathy, and seven normal subjects. Mean arterial pressure decreased significantly in the patients with autonomic neuropathy (P less than 0.01) but was unchanged in the other groups. Since cardiac output increased to a similar extent in the three groups, the decrease in blood pressure was due to a significantly larger decrease (P less than 0.01) in total peripheral vascular resistance in the patients with autonomic neuropathy. The heart rate increased significantly more during the infusions in the patients with neuropathy than in those without neuropathy. Epinephrine produced a greater increase in blood glucose, the glucose-appearance rate, lactate, glycerol, and free fatty acids in the patients with autonomic neuropathy than in the other groups (P less than 0.05). These findings indicate that several beta-receptor-mediated responses to epinephrine are enhanced in patients with diabetic autonomic neuropathy. The underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated.
TidsskriftThe New England journal of medicine
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)421-6
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 13 aug. 1987


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