Sympathetic nerve traffic and baroreflex function in optimal, normal, and high-normal blood pressure states

Gino Seravalle, Laura Lonati, Silvia Buzzi, Matteo Cairo, Fosca Quarti Trevano, Raffaella Dell'Oro, Rita Facchetti, Giuseppe Mancia, Guido Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Adrenergic activation and baroreflex dysfunction are common in established essential hypertension, elderly hypertension, masked and whitecoat hypertension, resistant hypertension, and obesityrelated hypertension. Whether this autonomic behavior is peculiar to established hypertension or is also detectable in the earlier clinical phases of the disease, that is, the highnormal blood pressure (BP) state, is still largely undefined, however. Methods: In 24 individuals with optimal BP (age: 37.1±2.1 years, mean±SEM) and in 27 with normal BP and 38 with high-normal BP, age matched with optimal BP, we measured clinic, 24-h and beat-to-beat BP, heart rate (HR), and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) at rest and during baroreceptor stimulation and deactivation. Measurements also included anthropometric as well as echocardiographic and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index. Results: For similar anthropometric values, clinic, 24-h ambulatory, and beat-to-beat BPs were significantly greater in normal BP than in optimal BP. This was the case when the high-normal BP group was compared to the normal and optimal BP groups. MSNA (but not HR) was also significantly greater in high-normal BP than in normal BP and optimal BP (51.3±2.0 vs. 40.3±2.3 and 41.1±2.6 bursts per 100 heartbeats, respectively, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1411-1417
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ambulatory blood pressure
  • High-normal blood pressure
  • Insulin resistance
  • Normal blood pressure
  • Optimal blood pressure
  • Sympathetic nerve traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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