Author(s): Martin SA, Alexieva S, Carruthers SG
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Abstract The influence of age on the responsiveness of dorsal hand vein alpha-receptors to local infusions of norepinephrine was investigated by the use of a novel technique, the linear variable differential transformer. Studies were conducted in two groups of healthy subjects, 26 elderly individuals (14 men and 12 women) 60 to 78 years old and 32 young individuals (24 men and eight women) 16 to 29 years old. There was wide interindividual variation in responsiveness to norepinephrine within both groups of subjects. The dose of norepinephrine required to produce 50\% venoconstriction in the elderly ranged from 1.5 to 300 ng/min (geometric mean 24.0 ng/min). The dose required to produce 50\% venoconstriction in younger individuals ranged from 1.6 to 360 ng/min (geometric mean 23.8 ng/min). These results suggest that there is no systematic influence of age on dorsal hand vein alpha-receptor responsiveness. A power calculation demonstrates a very small likelihood of a type II error.
This article was published in Clin Pharmacol Ther
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