Renal lithium clearance in the different stages of hypertension

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This study investigated whether fractional lithium excretion (FELi), used as a marker of proximal fluid delivery, changes during different phases of essential hypertension. Forty-eight subjects were studied: 12 essential hypertensives (EH); 12 borderline hypertensives (BL); 12 normotensives with a positive family history of essential hypertension (NH) and 12 normotensives without a family history of essential hypertension (NN). Measurements were performed in the recumbent position, both in basal conditions and after a saline load (2% body weight in 1 h; 0.333 ml/min per kg body weight). In basal conditions, a moderate extracellular volume expansion was already present in the subjects. In these conditions, FELi of EH was significantly higher than that of all the other groups (P<0.01). After the saline load, fractional sodium excretion increased in all the groups (P<0.01), but to a significantly greater extent in EH (P<0.01). FELi rose significantly only in BL (P<0.05). The change in FELI of BL correlated positively (P<0.02) with the change in blood pressure in 10 of these subjects 3 years after this study. Moderate extracellular volume expansion may be able to either reveal or stimulate an increase of FELi in subjects with established hypertension. When a greater degree of extracellular volume expansion is induced, this increases FELi in BL and this effect may be related to the subsequent development of hypertension

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