Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Chem. 1991 Oct;37(10 Pt 2):1828-30.

Role of vasopressin in clinical hypertension and congestive cardiac failure: interaction with the sympathetic nervous system.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Boston City Hospital, MA.


The pressor action of vasopressin (AVP) in humans was investigated with the specific anti-vasopressor V1 antagonist d(CH2)5-O(Me)-Tyr-AVP. A single 0.5-mg intravenous bolus of this agent inhibited the pressor effect of AVP by about 80%. Normally hydrated humans had no blood pressure response to this dose, but this agent did prevent the blood pressure rise in response to exogenous AVP given in doses up to 200 milli-units/kg. Patients with severe hypertension, especially that associated with end-stage renal disease, tended to respond with moderate increases in blood pressure and plasma AVP after sodium overload and had a modest blood pressure fall (10-20 mmHg) in response to a single intravenous bolus of the AVP antagonist. Patients with an impaired sympathetic nervous system had increased sensitivity to the pressor action of AVP, in keeping with knowledge derived from experimental studies. These data suggest an interaction between AVP and alpha-adrenergic function, whereby the latter tends to attenuate the pressor action of AVP although it facilitates the release of AVP in response to various stimuli. In patients with congestive heart failure, the direct pressor action of AVP appears to contribute to increased systemic vascular resistance in about 30% of cases, i.e., those with plasma AVP concentrations well above the normal range. In these subjects, circulating AVP concentrations correlated with a decrease in vascular resistance in response to the V1 antagonist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center