Hypertension is a common complication of canine hyperadrenocorticism. Increased pressor sensitivity to endogenous catecholamines is currently believed to be the main mechanism involved in the development of hypertension in human hyperadrenocorticism. The aim of this study was to evaluate pressor sensitivity to norepinephrine in dogs after induction of iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism (I-HAC) by serial arterial blood pressure measurements during infusions of increasing dose rates of norepinephrine (0.1, 0.15, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 μg/kg/min) in eight dogs with I-HAC and eight control dogs. Systolic, diastolic, mean blood pressure and heart rate measurements were recorded. The changes in these parameters between the two groups of dogs were compared. Dogs in the I-HAC group had a more pronounced pressor response to norepinephrine infusions than control dogs since the infusions had to be stopped in seven of the dogs due to severe hypertension (>240 mmHg). The mean maximum tolerated dose rate in the control group was 0.6 μg/kg/min with a standard error of 0.0. and 0.34 μg/kg/min with a standard error of 0.08 in the I-HAC group. The study demonstrated the presence of increased pressor sensitivity to norepinephrine in dogs with I-HAC.
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