In order to evaluate the role of calcium metabolism in blood pressure regulation, 15 patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and 9 healthy control subjects were studied before and during angiotensin II infusion. The patients were re-investigated 2-5 months after removal of the parathyroid adenoma. Blood pressure, plasma levels of angiotensin II, aldosterone, arginine vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide, and creatinine clearance were determined. Blood pressure and the blood pressure response to angiotensin II infusion were both the same before and after the operation. Angiotensin II and arginine vasopressin during basal conditions were significantly higher before than after the operation (angiotensin II: 17 (median) to 10 pmol/l, P less than 0.02; arginine vasopressin: 2.9 to 1.9 pmol/l, P less than 0.01), whereas aldosterone, atrial natriuretic peptide, and creatinine clearance were unchanged. During angiotensin II infusion, aldosterone, arginine vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide increased to approximately the same levels before and after the operation. Blood pressure was not correlated to any of the hormones measured. Thus, patients with primary hyperparathyroidism have elevated plasma levels of angiotensin II and arginine vasopressin which may be compensatory phenomena counteracting volume depletion owing to a decreased renal concentrating ability induced by hypercalcemia, and owing to PTH-induced inhibition of renal sodium reabsorption.