Sympathetic activity, blood pressure variability and end organ damage in hypertension

G. Mancia, M. Di Rienzo, G. Parati, G. Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Animal studies have provided clearcut evidence that sympathetic factors are involved in the development and maintenance of high blood pressure (BP). This also appears to be the case in humans, in which sympathetic activation, detected through plasma noradrenaline measurement, noradrenaline spillover technique and direct recording of muscle sympathetic nerve activity, has been shown to characterize the early phases of the hypertensive state and parallel its severity. Sympathetic factors also play in a variety of pathophysiological states frequently associated with hypertension, such as obesity, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. In addition evidence has been collected that adrenergic factors represent one of the mechanisms involved in determining BP variability, which is strictly associated with end organ damage. Taken together these findings underline the importance that the therapeutical approach to hypertension is aimed not only at lowering BP but also at reducing sympathetic activity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • Antihypertensive treatment
  • Blood pressure variability
  • End organ damage
  • Essential hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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