Autonomic Nervous System and Benign Essential Hypertension in Man
II. Circulatory and Hormonal Responses to Upright Posture
The effect of upright posture as a physiological stimulus of the adrenergic nervous system was studied in 56 subjects with benign essential hypertension. The subjects received a controlled-sodium diet. Blood pressure, heart rate, catecholamines, plasma renin activity, and urinary creatinine, sodium, and potassium excretion were measured in the recumbent and upright positions. We found an alteration in the blood pressure response in subjects with benign essential hypertension; the postural increase in the mean blood pressure in normotensive subjects (3.18 ± 1.35 mm Hg) progressively disappeared and was replaced by a postural decrease in subjects with more severe stable hypertension (-6.71 ± 2.42 mm Hg). The hypertensive subjects also lacked the usual increase in urinary excretion of norepinephrine. A significant increase in plasma renin activity associated with a significant decrease in plasma norepinephrine occurred in subjects with labile hypertension with postural tachycardia. Finally, we found a highly significant correlation between the excretion of sodium and potassium in the recumbent position and the retention of both ions in the upright position.
- postural adaptation
- plasma renin activity
- urinary dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine
- plasma norepinephrine
- orthostatic antinatriuresis
- renal clearance of norepinephrine
- Received December 20, 1973.
- Accepted April 18, 1974.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.