Effects of midodrine hydrochloride on blood pressure and cerebral blood flow during orthostasis in persons with chronic tetraplegia

Jill M. Wecht, Dwindally Rosado-Rivera, John P. Handrakis, Miroslav Radulovic, William A. Bauman

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33 Scopus citations


Objective To determine the mean arterial pressure (MAP) and middle cerebral artery mean blood flow velocity (MFV) responses to 5 and 10mg midodrine during head-up tilt (HUT) in persons with tetraplegia. Design Prospective dose-response trial. Setting James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center. Participants Persons (N=10) with chronic tetraplegia (duration of injury=23±11y). Intervention A dose titration study was performed over 3 testing days: control (no drug), 5mg midodrine (5mg), or 10mg midodrine (10mg) during 30 minutes of baseline (predrug/no drug), 30 minutes of supine rest postdrug/no drug, 15 minutes of progressive HUT (5 minutes at 15°, 25°, 35°), and 45 minutes of 45° HUT. Main Outcome Measures MAP and MFV response to midodrine supine and during HUT. Results Ten milligrams of midodrine significantly increased MAP while supine and during the HUT maneuver. Of note, the mean increase in MAP during HUT with 10mg was a result of a robust effect in 2 persons, with minimal change in the remaining 8 study subjects. The reduction in cerebral MFV during HUT was attenuated with 10mg. Conclusions These findings suggest that midodrine 10mg may be efficacious for treatment of hypotension and orthostatic hypotension in select persons with tetraplegia. Although midodrine is routinely prescribed to treat orthostatic hypotension, the results of our work suggests limited efficacy of this agent, but additional studies in a larger sample of subjects with spinal cord injury should be performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1429-1435
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Hypotension, orthostatic
  • Midodrine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tilt-table test


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