Treatment of patients with α-synucleinopathies (e.g., Parkinson disease, multiple system atrophy, diffuse Lewy body disease) may require clinicians to manage both neurologic and cardiovascular issues due to autonomic dysfunction. In addition to the underlying neurodegenerative condition, patients often experience blood pressure dysregulation, such as neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) and/or supine hypertension. This commentary details the collaborative care between a cardiologist and neurologist to effectively manage medically complex patients with nOH by illustrating the case of a 76-year-old man with a history of multiple system atrophy who experienced recurrent syncope when standing or sitting and falls with loss of consciousness. The patient could walk only a few steps before experiencing a substantial drop in systolic blood pressure (100 mmHg). He also had features of profound parkinsonism (e.g., tremor, facial masking) that required treatment with levodopa, but orthostatic symptoms related to the blood pressure drop needed improvement first. The neurologist and cardiologist collaborated to diagnose nOH and initiate droxidopa treatment, which led to resolution of syncope, control of orthostatic symptoms, and improvement of orthostatic blood pressure. Considerations in the collaborative care of patients with nOH are outlined, including screening protocols, treatment goals and options, mitigation of supine hypertension risk (a condition that frequently coexists with nOH), and management of other comorbidities. In conclusion, collaboration between neurologists and cardiologists is an efficient method to improve outcomes for patients with nOH because this care model allows specialist providers to leverage their areas of expertise to manage the wide spectrum of clinical features associated with nOH. Further, communication and cooperation of the patient care team can lead to reduced patient morbidity, optimal relief of nOH symptoms, improvements in activities of daily living and quality of life, and decreased caregiver burden. Management of Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension in Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Collaboration Between Cardiology and Neurology (MP4 73511 kb).
© 2021. The Author(s).