Spectrum of deranged sodium homeostasis in essential hypertension.
Essential hypertension is thought to produce a uniform exaggerated natriuresis and diuresis. Because validation of this formulation in humans is incomplete, the natriuretic and diuretic responses to acute volume expansion were characterized by using water immersion to the neck. This method provides a volume stimulus identical to that induced by 2 L of saline without plasma compositional change. Twenty-seven subjects with essential hypertension were studied on three occasions in the seated posture while in balance on a 10 mEq Na, 100 mEq K diet: during the seated control study, during 4 hours of head-out immersion, and during saline infusion (2 L/2 hours). Four subjects had exaggerated urinary Na excretion in response to neck immersion (Group 3), and 16 had a normal response (Group 2) indistinguishable from that of 15 previously studied normal subjects. The remaining seven subjects (Group 1) had blunted or absent natriuretic responses compared with that in normal subjects (p less than 0.005). Similar results were obtained with saline administration; cumulative Na excretion in Group 1 was markedly less than that in Group 2 and the normal subjects. The heterogeneity in Na excretion indicates that an exaggerated natriuresis is not a uniform concomitant of essential hypertension. The significant inverse correlation between basal plasma aldosterone level and peak urinary as well as cumulative Na excretion suggests that plasma aldosterone constitutes a determinant of the differing natriuretic responses. In contrast to findings with urinary Na excretion, the diuretic responses of Groups 1 and 2 were identical. The striking dissociation between renal Na and water handling underscores the specificity of the derangement in renal Na handling.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association