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Friday, December 6, 2013
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure and thoracic stenosis
Is stenosis in the thoracic spine (mid upper chest area) able to cause high blod pressure? How would the high blood pressure be treated in this case?
The spinal cord contributes to blood pressure regulation, although the exact location of the corresponding nerve cells is not known. Spinal cord injury can cause an increase in blood pressure, and it can also cause fluctuations in blood pressure that is sometimes hard to control.
The effects of spinal cord injury on blood pressure are mediated by the sympathetic system. The best initial treatment is the use of alpha blocking drugs, such as prazosin or doxazosin. However, there is a risk of exaggerated drops in blood pressure, and these agents would have to be used carefully.
Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati