Changes in the circadian rhythm of blood pressure in primary aldosteronism in response to dietary sodium restriction and adrenalectomy

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ObjectiveRecently, we found that sodium restriction restored the circadian rhythm of blood pressure from non-dippers to dippers in patients with a sodium-sensitive type of essential hypertension. In the present study, we investigated the effects of sodium restriction on the circadian blood pressure rhythm in patients with primary aldosteronism, a typical sodium-sensitive form of secondary hypertension.Design and methodsWe performed 24 h blood pressure monitoring in eight patients with primary aldosteronism due to unilateral adenoma (Conn's syndrome) during normal-sodium (7–12 g/day of NaCl) and low-sodium (1–3 g/day) diets, and after adrenalectomy.ResultsSodium restriction lowered the 24 h mean arterial pressure from 116 ± 14 to 109 ± 12 mmHg (P < 0.01). During a normal-sodium diet, there was no change in systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressures during the night-time compared with the daytime. In contrast, during a low-sodium diet, all night-time pressure values were significantly lower than those in the daytime. After adrenalectomy, the night-time pressures in patients on a normal-sodium diet were lower than those of the daytime. The nocturnal mean arterial pressure fall was increased by sodium restriction and adrenalectomy.ConclusionsThese results indicate that the circadian rhythm of blood pressure was disturbed in patients with primary aldosteronism who maintained a relatively high sodium intake. Both adrenalectomy and sodium restriction restored a nocturnal dip in blood pressure in primary aldosteronism. Therefore, sodium restriction affects the circadian blood pressure rhythm in sodium-sensitive types of hypertension, not only in primary hypertension, but also in secondary hypertension.

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