Dietary sodium modulation of aldosterone activation and renal function during the progression of experimental heart failure

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AimsAldosterone activation is central to the sodium–fluid retention that marks the progression of heart failure (HF). The actions of dietary sodium restriction, a mainstay in HF management, on cardiorenal and neuroendocrine adaptations during the progression of HF are poorly understood. The study aim was to assess the role of dietary sodium during the progression of experimental HF.Methods and resultsExperimental HF was produced in a canine model by rapid right ventricular pacing which evolves from early mild HF to overt, severe HF. Dogs were fed one of three diets: (i) high sodium [250 mEq (5.8 g) per day, n =6]; (ii) standard sodium [58 mEq (1.3 g) per day, n =6]; and (iii) sodium restriction [11 mEq (0.25 g) per day, n =6]. During the 38-day study, haemodynamics, renal function, plasma renin activity (PRA), and aldosterone were measured. Changes in haemodynamics at 38 days were similar in all three groups, as were changes in renal function. Aldosterone activation was demonstrated in all three groups; however, dietary sodium restriction, in contrast to high sodium, resulted in early (10 days) activation of PRA and aldosterone. High sodium demonstrated significant suppression of aldosterone activation over the course of HF progression.ConclusionsExcessive dietary sodium restriction particularly in early stage HF results in early aldosterone activation, while normal and excess sodium intake are associated with delayed or suppressed activation. These findings warrant evaluation in humans to determine if dietary sodium manipulation, particularly during early stage HF, may have a significant impact on neuroendocrine disease progression.

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