Mineralocorticoid secretion in essential hypertension with normal and low plasma renin activity.
In 19 control subjects, 33 patients with essential hypertension and normal plasma renin activity (PRA) and 11 patients with low PRA, secretory rates of 18-hydroxy-11-deoxy-corticosterone (18-OH DOC), 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC) and corticosterone were measured. Patients with low PRA were significantly older and had higher arterial pressure and slightly lower plasma potassium levels than patients with normal PRA. Mean 18-OH DOC secretion rate was higher in patients with normal PRA (603 +/- 112 SEM mug/24 hr) than in control subjects (219 +/- 19) and considerably higher (P less than 0.001) in patients with low PRA (1800 +/- 472). DOC and corticosterone secretion rates were within normal limits in most hypertensive patients. Plasma aldosterone was significantly higher in the hypertensive population than in control subjects whereas no significant difference was observed between the low- and normal-renin groups. A significant (P less than 0.01) mutual positive correlation was found between the secretion rates of 18-OH DOC, DOC and corticosterone in patients with low plasma renin activity. In contrast, there was no correlation between the secretion rates of the three mineralocorticoids in control subjects and patients with normal plasma renin activity. These data suggest a biosynthetic variation of the mineralocorticoid pathways in essential hypertension.
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