Objective: To investigate the effect of total flavones of hippophae rhamnoides L (TFH) on sympathetic nerve activity of essential hypertensive patients and to determine whether TFH possesses inhibitory effect on sympathetic activity after supine isometric exercise.
Methods: Heart rate, blood pressure and plasma catecholamines of the patients were measured before and after treatment. 88 patients were randomly divided into TFH group (n = 35), calcium antagonist nifedipine (n = 33) and verapamil ER (n = 20) group.
Results: It was shown after 8 weeks of treatment that TFH did not alter the rest heart rate and plasma catecholamine concentration in the patients (P > 0.05). In contrast, nifedipine produced an increase of noradrenaline and adrenaline level(P < 0.01). Isometric exercise may significantly increase the heart rate, blood pressure and plasma catecholamine concentration in hypertensive patients. In TFH group, exercise did not increase the heart rate, blood pressure and plasma catecholamine concentration after treatment. In nifedipine group, however, the same isometric exercise significantly increased the heart rate, blood pressure and noradrenaline concentration after treatment (P < 0.01). In verapamil group, the plasma catecholamine concentration did not change after treatment, but it was significantly increased after isometric exercise.
Conclusions: The results suggest that TFH does not alter the sympathetic activity in treatment of hypertension and the inhibitory effect of TFH on sympathetic activity after supine isometric exercise may provide clinical benefits.