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Hypertens Res. 2010 Jun;33(6):515-20. doi: 10.1038/hr.2010.47. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

Salt sensitivity and circadian rhythm of blood pressure: the keys to connect CKD with cardiovascular events.

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Department of Cardio-Renal Medicine and Hypertension, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan.


In healthy subjects, blood pressure (BP) drops by 10-20% during the night. Conversely, in patients with the salt-sensitive type of hypertension or chronic kidney disease, nighttime BP does not fall, resulting in an atypical pattern of circadian BP rhythm that does not dip. This pattern is referred to as the 'non-dipper' pattern. Loss of renal functional reserve, due to either reduced ultrafiltration capacity or enhanced tubular sodium reabsorption, induces the salt-sensitive type of hypertension. When salt intake is excessive in patients with salt-sensitive hypertension, the defect in sodium excretory capability becomes evident, resulting in elevated BP during the night. This nocturnal hypertension compensates for diminished natriuresis during the daytime and enhances pressure natriuresis during the night. Nocturnal hypertension and the non-dipper pattern of circadian BP rhythm cause cardiovascular events. When excess salt intake is loaded in patients who are in a salt-sensitive state, glomerular capillary pressure is also elevated, resulting in glomerular sclerosis and eventual renal failure. In this way, salt sensitivity and excess salt intake contribute to both cardiovascular and renal damage at the same time. We propose that salt sensitivity of BP and excess salt intake have important roles in the genesis of the cardiorenal connection. Salt sensitivity and circadian rhythm of BP are the keys to understanding the connections between cardiovascular and renal complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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