Orthostatic hypotension: Mechanisms, causes, management

Phillip A. Low, Victoria A. Tomalia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Orthostatic hypotension (OH) occurs when mechanisms for the regulation of orthostatic BP control fails. Such regulation depends on the barorefexes, normal blood volume, and defenses against excessive venous pooling. OH is common in the elderly and is associated with an increase in mortality rate. Tere are many causes of OH. Aging coupled with diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease results in a prevalence of 10–30% in the elderly. Tese conditions cause barorefex failure with resulting combination of OH, supine hypertension, and loss of diurnal variation of B P. The treatment of OH is imperfect since it is impossible to normalize standing BP without generating excessive supine hypertension. The practical goal is to improve standing BP so as to minimize symptoms and to improve standing time in order to be able to undertake orthostatic activities of daily living, without excessive supine hypertension. It is possible to achieve these goals with a combination of fudrocortisone, a pressor agent (midodrine or droxidopa), supplemented with procedures to improve orthostatic defenses during periods of increased orthostatic stress. Such procedures include water bolus treatment and physical countermaneuvers. We provide a pragmatic guide on patient education and the patient-orientated approach to the moment to moment management of OH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Barorefex
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Supine hypertension
  • Water bolus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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