Hemodynamic and endocrine changes associated with potassium supplementation in sodium-loaded hypertensives.
To clarify the mechanism by which potassium (KCl) protects against the blood pressure rising action of sodium (NaCl), we studied the effects of KCl loading in patients with idiopathic hypertension who, after a period of NaCl restriction, partook of a high NaCl diet. Eleven patients who had taken the KCl supplement (96 mEq/day) during the high NaCl period showed lesser mean blood pressure (MAP) rise with changes in NaCl intake from 25 to 250 mEq/day than 12 patients who had not taken the KCl supplement (p less than 0.001). With a high NaCl diet, the KCl-supplemented patients retained less NaCl, gained less weight, and showed a lesser increase in plasma volume and cardiac output than the non-KCl-supplemented ones. Overall, the increase in blood pressure levels during the high Na diet correlated directly either with changes in plasma volume (p less than 0.05) or with changes in cardiac output (p less than 0.01). The results suggest that KCl may prevent a rise in blood pressure with NaCl loads in hypertensive patients by attenuating the increase in cardiac output, mainly as a result of the natriuresis. Furthermore, plasma norepinephrine was measured to estimate the sympathetic activity, since the sympathetic nervous system is known to control urinary NaCl excretion. From the low NaCl diet to Day 3 of the high NaCl diet, plasma norepinephrine was significantly (p less than 0.01) decreased in the KCl-supplemented patients, whereas it remained unchanged in the non-KCl-supplemented ones.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association