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Rinsho Byori. 2013 Mar;61(3):263-70.

[Hypertension and its related organ damage--pathophysiology and new diagnostic strategy].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Clinical Laboratory, The University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.


Hypertension is the most common non-communicable disease. Although novel therapeutic agents have become available and blood pressure tends to be lowered, the morbidity and mortality rates of hypertension-induced renal failure or stroke in Japan have not decreased in recent decades. This might be because we cannot choose appropriate therapy based upon the pathophysiology of high blood pressure and the degree of organ damage. Salt-sensitive hypertension has a poorer prognosis than resistant hypertension regardless of blood pressure control and is more common in Asians than in Caucasians. Therefore, understanding the pathophysiology of salt sensitivity and diagnosing it is very important. Recent advances in research into salt-sensitive hypertension revealed that mineralocorticoid receptor activities independent of aldosterone induce both salt-sensitive hypertension and organ damage, which is closely related to oxidative stress. In an other study, sympathetic overactivity was related to salt sensitivity via epigenetic modulation. Current research into new surrogate markers is mostly focused on hunting for humoral factors, and novel directions to evaluate receptor functions such as mineralocorticoid receptor or epigenetic modulations would open a new door for the early diagnosis of organ damage and tailor-made therapy.

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