Renin profiling for diagnosis and treatment of hypertension

JAMA. 1979 Jan 12;241(2):151-6.


Recent research shows that the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis either maintains or causes some or all of the high blood pressure of most patients and demonstrates anew that renin-sodium profiling defines this involvement. Performed with a serum potassium measurement, this now reliable test is useful for primary screening and then, in conjunction with renal vein renin studies or an aldosterone profile, for diagnosis or exclusion of surgically curable renovascular or adrenocortical hypertensions. For the remaining majority with essential hypertension, renin profiling exposes the relative participation of either vasoconstriction or volume factors, thereby guiding simpler, more specific, and predictably effective antirenin or antivolume treatments. Renin profiling identifies those in whom treatment should begin with a beta-blocker as opposed to a diuretic while not infrequently also providing baseline information about severity and prognosis in individual patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / physiopathology
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Models, Biological
  • Renin / blood*
  • Renin / metabolism
  • Renin / physiology
  • Sodium / urine
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Sodium
  • Renin