Muscle sympathetic nerve activity in renovascular hypertension and primary aldosteronism.
Previous studies, including our own, have demonstrated that muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) is increased in patients with essential hypertension compared with normotensive subjects. However, the features of sympathetic nerve activity are still unknown in secondary hypertension. We examined MSNA in eight patients with renovascular hypertension and in 11 patients with primary aldosteronism. Twenty patients with essential hypertension and 20 normotensive subjects who were age-matched to the patients with renovascular hypertension and those with primary aldosteronism were also studied. The MSNA of a bundle of the tibial nerve was recorded by microneurography in supine subjects and expressed as both burst rate (bursts/min) and burst incidence (bursts/100 heart beats). Plasma renin activity and the plasma concentration of angiotensin II and aldosterone were also measured. MSNA was increased in the patients with renovascular hypertension compared with the patients with primary aldosteronism and those with essential hypertension and the normotensive subjects (p less than 0.01 for each). MSNA was decreased in the patients with primary aldosteronism compared with those with essential hypertension (p less than 0.01), and it was smaller than in the normotensive subjects (p less than 0.1). Furthermore, MSNA, plasma renin activity, and the plasma concentration of angiotensin II decreased significantly in five patients with renovascular hypertension 4-10 days after successful percutaneous renal angioplasty. Thus, the changes in MSNA seem to characterize the pathophysiology of renovascular hypertension and primary aldosteronism. Activation of the renin-angiotensin system may be involved in the increase in the central outflow of sympathetic nerve activity, thus exacerbating hypertension in patients with renovascular hypertension.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association