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Nefrologia. 2000 Sep-Oct;20(5):415-23.

[Hormonal profile and participation of nitric oxide in salt-sensitive and salt-resistant essential arterial hypertension].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Nefrología, Hospital General el SAS, Jerez.


Recent studies have shown that cardiovascular events and end-organ damage occur more frequently in patients with salt-sensitive essential hypertension (SH) than in salt-resistant essential hypertension (RH). Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in regulating the pressure-natriuresis relationship. Therefore impaired NO synthesis may produce or aggravate salt-sensitive hypertension. This study was conducted to determine the hormonal levels and nitric oxide metabolites in hypertensive patients. 25 patients underwent salt sensitivity testing. 24 h ambulatory blood pressure was recorded after a 5-day period on low salt diet (20 mEq/d) and after a 5-day period on a high salt diet (200 mEq/d). Subjects showing > or = 10 mmHg increase in mean BP when changing from low to high dietary salt intake were classified as salt sensitive and as salt resistant when the BP changes were < 10 mmHg. Based on BP recordings 13 patients were characterised as white coat hypertension (WC), 13 patients as salt resistant (SR) and 12 as salt sensitive (SS). A significative relationship was seen between plasma glucose-insulin concentration and body mass index. The ventricular mass index was similar in SS and SR patients. The plasma uric acid, triglicerides and PAI-I were elevated in SS compared with SR, and control group (C). During low sodium intake, plasma renin and aldosterone were decreased in SS compared with SR, and C. No differences in plasma catecholamines or their changes with intake sodium modifications were seen among the patients. During high sodium intake urinary NO excretion increased in SR (38 +/- 9 vs 18 +/- 2 mg/g creat), and C (24 +/- 2 vs 16 +/- 3 mg/g creat) (p < 0.01) but not in SS patients (21 +/- 3 vs 26 +/- 4 mg/g creat). The NO excretion changes showed negative correlation with BP changes (r = 0.49, p < 0.01). During low sodium intake, SR and SS patients showed a normal nocturnal decrease of BP (dippers). During high sodium intake SS patients became non-dippers. Our results showed that patients with salt sensitive hypertension displayed a suppressed renin-aldosterone system, an attenuated nocturnal decline in blood pressure on high-salt diet and an impairment of endothelial function. The relationship between urinary nitrate excretion and arterial pressure suggest that the salt sensitivity of arterial pressure may be related bo blunted generation of endogenous nitric oxide.

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