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J Hepatol. 1992 May;15(1-2):179-83.

Assessment of the renin-angiotensin system in cirrhotic patients. Comparison between plasma renin activity and direct measurement of immunoreactive renin.

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Hormonal Laboratory, Hospital Clínic i Provincial, Barcelona, Spain.


The renin-angiotensin system plays an important physiological role and has prognostic significance in cirrhotics with ascites. The degree of stimulation of this system is usually estimated by measuring plasma renin activity after incubation periods of 2-3 h. Recent investigations showed that the direct measurement of immunoreactive renin also estimates the degree of activity of the system. In this study, immunoreactive renin and plasma renin activity (measured at incubation periods of 10, 20, 50 and 180 min) were determined in ten healthy subjects, five hyperreninemic non-hepatic patients and 47 cirrhotics with ascites. Cirrhotic patients showed significantly higher plasma renin activity (5.1 +/- 0.9 ng/ml per h, p less than 0.05) and immunoreactive renin (145.4 +/- 24.4 pg/ml, p less than 0.01) than healthy subjects (1.2 +/- 0.15 ng/ml per h and 25.1 +/- 1.1 pg/ml, respectively). The angiotensin I generation rate was constant during the 3-h incubation in 22 cirrhotics and a close relationship (r = 0.956, p less than 0.001) between plasma renin activity (3.5 +/- 1.6 ng/ml per h) and immunoreactive renin (71 +/- 25 pg/ml) was observed in these patients. In the remaining 25 cirrhotics the generation rate of angiotensin I declined with time and the calculated plasma renin activity at 180 min was lower than the activity calculated at 10 min by 50.7%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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