Severe hypertension induces disturbances of renal autoregulation.
To study if the severity of hypertension could be associated with disturbances of the autoregulation of renal blood flow and glomerular filtration, we compared the renal hemodynamic and functional responses to acute blood pressure reductions of a group of patients with moderate essential hypertension (n = 10) with those of a group of patients with severe hypertension (n = 10). Blood pressure was reduced to normal levels by a stepwise infusion of sodium nitroprusside, and effective renal blood flow (by 131I-hippuran), glomerular filtration rate (by endogenous creatinine clearance), and filtration fraction were determined. After acute blood pressure normalization, effective renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate were significantly reduced in patients with severe hypertension (-41.6 +/- 8.3% and -44.7 +/- 6.8%, respectively; p less than 0.01 for both) but not in those with moderate hypertension (+4.9 +/- 9.1% and +6.2 +/- 13.3%, respectively; NS). Filtration fraction remained unchanged in both groups. These results show that severe but not moderate essential hypertensive patients have a displacement to the right of the lower limit of the renal autoregulation curve due to impaired vasodilation to maintain adequate renal blood flow during acute reductions of blood pressure. This impairment may be due to anatomic or functional defects of preglomerular vessels, or to both. Furthermore, the inability to maintain adequate glomerular filtration in these circumstances shows that patients with severe hypertension also have an impaired ability to adjust postglomerular vasomotor tone in the face of reductions in glomerular blood flow.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association