Cardiovascular regulation during angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition with captopril in diabetes-associated hypertension

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Diabetes-associated hypertension is accompanied by high levels of body sodium and cardiovascular hyper-reactivity to noradrenaline. Captopril, a promising drug for the treatment of hypertension in diabetics, may influence sodium metabolism and adrenergic pathways. This possibility was investigated in 11 patients with non-azotaemic diabetes mellitus and hypertension, studied after a 3-week placebo phase and after an 8-week phase of captopril treatment (50-100 mg/day). Blood pressure, exchangeable body sodium, blood volume, plasma renin activity, angiotensin II (Angll), aldosterone, catecholamine levels and the pressor reactivity to infused Angll or noradrenaline were measured. Compared with placebo, captopril caused a significant decrease in arterial pressure and stimulation of plasma renin activity. Exchangeable sodium, blood volume, plasma Ang II, aldosterone, noradrenaline and adrenaline levels, the pressor and aldosterone responsiveness to infused Ang II and the pressor response to infused noradrenaline (alone or combined with atropine) were not modified. These findings suggest that in hypertensive diabetics angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition causes a marked decrease in blood pressure. The mechanism of action is unrelated to changes in body sodium or noradrenergic-dependent pressor reactivity. In the stable phase of therapy, Ang ll-dependent pathways are left unaltered when captopril is administered twice a day

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