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Selective renal artery catheterization and renal angiography are commonly performed diagnostic procedures; however, the effects of these procedures on renal blood How (RBF) and renin release have only been partially described. A biphasic RBF response has been well documented during selective angiography in dogs. The renal autoregulatory mechanisms governing the responses are uncertain. The renin-angiotensin system and the major parameters of contrast media, hypertonicity and viscosity, have been suggested as important factors. In the canine model, we examined the acute changes in renal venous renin activity along with the renal hemodynamic effects of hypcrtonicity and viscosity. Our results do not support a primary effect mediated by the renin-angiotensin system. Hypertonicity and the contrast medium per se are significant in active and passive autoregulatory responses at the smooth muscle cellular level.