Content » Vol 86, Issue 4

Clinical Report

Cardiovascular Reactivity to Experimental Stress in Psoriasis: a Controlled Investigation

Mario Mastrolonardo, Angelo Picardi, Dario Alicino, Antonello Bellomo and Paolo Pasquini
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0099


A defective response of psoriatic skin to β-adrenergic stimulation has been implicated in the pathophysiology of psoriasis. A psychophysiological study was planned to investigate whether the β-adrenergic receptor hyporesponsiveness found in psoriatic skin can also be detected in other systems. Twenty-five psoriatic patients and 50 healthy controls were submitted to a standardized stressful procedure (mental arithmetic and the Stroop Colour-Word Naming Test) to trigger the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, and their haemo­dynamic responses were compared. While there were no differences between groups in perceived stress, a blunted increase in heart rate and a sharper increase in diastolic blood pressure was observed in psoriasis patients compared with controls. The psychophysiological reaction pattern observed in psoriatic patients might be explain­ed by lower reactivity of heart β1-adrenergic receptors and arteriolar walls β2-adrenergic receptors. While this study suggests that β-adrenergic receptor hyporesponsiveness might have a systemic expression in psoriatic patients, it needs support from future studies exploring β-adrenergic function in psoriatic patients more directly.


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