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Norepinephrine transporter inhibition prevents tilt-induced pre-syncope.

Author(s): Schroeder C, Birkenfeld AL, Mayer AF, Tank J, Diedrich A, Luft FC, Jordan J

Affiliation(s): Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center, Medical Faculty of the Charite and HELIOS Klinikum, Berlin, Germany.

Publication date & source: 2006-08-01, J Am Coll Cardiol., 48(3):516-22. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that pharmacological norepinephrine reuptake transporter (NET) inhibition delays the onset of head-up tilt-induced presyncope in healthy subjects. BACKGROUND: Treatment of neurally mediated syncope is unsatisfactory. In a previous study in a small number of healthy subjects, pharmacologic NET inhibition delayed the onset of head-up tilt-induced pre-syncope. METHODS: We combined data sets from 3 substudies comprising 51 healthy subjects without a history of syncope. In a double-blind, randomized, cross-over fashion, subjects underwent 2 head-up tilt tests, once with placebo and once with a NET inhibitor (sibutramine or reboxetine). Tilt testing was prematurely ended when pre-syncopal symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, or visual disturbances occurred together with a decrease in blood pressure and/or heart rate. RESULTS: The mean tolerated tilt test duration was 29 +/- 2 min with placebo and 35 +/- 1 min with NET inhibition (p = 0.001). The odds ratio for premature abortion of head-up tilt testing was 0.22 (95% confidence interval 0.09 to 0.55, p < 0.001) in favor of NET inhibition. Norepinephrine reuptake transporter inhibition elicited a pressor response and increased upright heart rate. CONCLUSIONS: In healthy subjects, NET inhibition prevents tilt-induced neurally mediated (pre)syncope. Therefore, NET inhibition may be a worthwhile target of drug intervention for larger trials in highly symptomatic patients with neurally mediated syncope.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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