Abnormal pressure natriuresis. A cause or a consequence of hypertension?

Hypertension. 1990 Jun;15(6 Pt 1):547-59. doi: 10.1161/01.hyp.15.6.547.


In all forms of chronic hypertension, the renal-pressure natriuresis mechanism is abnormal because sodium excretion is the same as in normotension despite the increased blood pressure. However, the importance of this resetting of pressure natriuresis as a cause of hypertension is controversial. Theoretically, a resetting of pressure natriuresis could necessitate increased blood pressure to maintain sodium balance or it could occur secondarily to hypertension. Recent studies indicate that, in several models of experimental hypertension (including angiotensin II, aldosterone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, and norepinephrine hypertension), a primary shift of renal-pressure natriuresis necessitates increased arterial pressure to maintain sodium and water balance. In genetic animal models of hypertension, there also appears to be a resetting of pressure natriuresis before the development of hypertension. Likewise, essential hypertensive patients exhibit abnormal pressure natriuresis, although the precise cause of this defect is not clear. It is likely that multiple renal defects contribute to resetting of pressure natriuresis in essential hypertensive patients. With long-standing hypertension, pathological changes that occur secondary to hypertension must also be considered. By analyzing the characteristics of pressure natriuresis in hypertensive patients and by comparing these curves to those observed in various forms of experimental hypertension of known origin, it is possible to gain insight into the etiology of this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Natriuresis / drug effects
  • Natriuresis / physiology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology


  • Neurotransmitter Agents