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Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center

Exercise vs. Propranolol

Exercise training versus propranolol in the treatment of the postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

 

This study consisted of a double blind placebo controlled trial of propranolol vs. placebo for 4 weeks followed by 3 months of exercise. Two hours standing studies were performed to assess physiology. The results were as follows:

 

  • Both propranolol and exercise decreased standing heart rate.
  • Propranolol decreased standing cardiac output while exercise training did not.
  • Plasma catecholamines were unchanged with both exercise and propranolol.
  • Aldosterone:renin ratio was increased with exercise but unchanged with propranolol.
  • Quality of life (measured with the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey) was improved with exercise but not with propranolol.

 

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