Background and Objective: Previously, it was demonstrated that marinobufagenin (MBG) is implicated in the development of ethanol withdrawal in rats. It has been shown that ethanol withdrawal is associated with a pressor response in the alcoholics. We hypothesized that elevated levels of sodium pump ligand, MBG, would underline the increase in systolic blood pressure during alcohol withdrawal in humans.
Methods: The cohort included 9 patients with the diagnosis “alcohol dependence syndrome” (F10.(1-3) according to ICD-10). The blood samples for measurement of MBG concentration were collected from the subjects on the first day of withdrawal and after 7 days treatment of the abstinence. Arterial blood pressure was measured via plethysmography at the same time points.
Results: The beginning of the alcoholic abstinence was associated with the rise of arterial blood pressure with enhanced levels of plasma MBG. At day 7 following withdrawal, the systolic blood pressure and MBG levels were decreased to normal values.
Conclusion: The development of alcohol withdrawal is accompanied by an increase in arterial blood pressure, which is associated with increased plasma MBG concentration.