Autonomic Disorders Consortium

Information for Patients and Families

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Baroreflex Failure

What is Baroreflex Failure?

Baroreflex Failure is a rare disorder characterized by change of blood pressure with episodes of severe hypertension (high blood pressure). There can be increased heart rate during stress and hypotension (low blood pressure) with normal or reduced heart rate during rest.

Symptoms may include:

Note that Baroreflex Failure may resemble another rare disorder called pheochromocytoma, a catecholamine-secreting tumor.

What causes Baroreflex Failure?

Possible causes may include:

How is Baroreflex Failure diagnosed?

Baroreflex Failure resembles other more common disorders, so its diagnosis is challenging.

In addition to asking detailed questions about the patient’s health and family history, the physician will conduct a physical examination, which will include checking blood pressure and heart rate in specific circumstances, such as during daily activity and with medication challenges.

What is the treatment for Baroreflex Failure?

Treatment for Baroreflex Failure involves medications to control blood pressure and heart rate and to reduce stress..