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Clinical Observation |

Severe Orthostatic Hypotension Following Weight Reduction Surgery

Ronen Rubinshtein, MD; Mishu Ciubotaru, MD; Hadar Elad, MD; Haim Bitterman, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(17):2145-2147. doi:10.1001/archinte.161.17.2145.
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Surgical interventions for morbid obesity are common practice in many countries, especially when other treatment options have failed or when rapid weight loss is desired. The association between weight and blood pressure is well established, especially the paradigm of obesity-related hypertension. We describe a 45-year-old obese woman with a medical history of hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus who lost 57 kg within a few months after a weight reduction surgery. She suffered from severe orthostatic hypotension, which probably resulted from sympathetic nervous system dysfunction. Our patient's clinical status improved with pharmacological interventions, but her symptoms resolved completely after she gained weight following a surgical reversal of the gastric partitioning owing to a local complication. Autonomic nervous system activity does change with the changes in body weight, but after evaluation of this patient, we believe that rapid weight loss may impair sympathetic function and blood pressure control. Although losing weight is a known treatment option for hypertension, exaggerated reversal of obesity-related hypertension might result in orthostatic hypotension.

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