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Blood Press. 1998 Jan;7(1):47-52.

Relationship between salt and blood pressure in hypertensive patients on chronic ACE-inhibition.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


We investigated the effect of a 4-day oral salt load (150 mmol NaCl extra per day) on blood pressure, erythrocyte sodium transport and the activity in the renin-angiotensin system in six males with primary hypertension, who had attained normotension on chronic enalapril treatment for 4 years. The design was a placebo-controlled, randomized, two-way cross over, double-blind study, i.e. each patient served as his own control. Intracellular erythrocyte sodium and potassium content were measured by flame photomometry. The increase in the intracellular sodium concentration during 1 h in 37 degrees C incubation of whole-blood with ouabain (compared with no-ouabain) was measured to determine the rate of active sodium efflux. 24-h blood pressure registration was performed with Space-lab equipment (SL 90202) before and at the end of the salt load. Left ventricular morphology was evaluated with echocardiography and the minimal vascular resistance of the hand vascular bed with water plethysmography at baseline and after 4 years on enalapril. Four years' enalapril treatment caused a significant decrease in blood pressure, left ventricular mass and minimal vascular resistance. During the 4-day salt load average 24-h blood pressure was significantly elevated, 129+/-3/85+/-2 mmHg as compared to 124+/-2/82+/-2 mmHg during placebo treatment (p=0.025). The change (delta) in MAP during high salt intake showed a negative relationship to delta-sodium efflux rate constant (r=-0.65, p=0.047). No significant relationship was found between the blood pressure response to the salt load and structural cardiovascular changes. In conclusion, a short-term oral salt load in hypertensive patients on chronic enalapril treatment caused a blood pressure rise, which was related to cellular sodium transport but not to structural cardiovascular changes.

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