Aldosterone Sensitivity: an Opportunity to Explore the Pathogenesis of Hypertension


Aldosterone sensitivity is defined as an outcome variable for a given circulating level of aldosterone. In basic and translational studies, aldosterone sensitivity has been measured in differential tissue responses, e.g., lower urine sodium and higher urine potassium, as an index of the renal response; in clinical studies, aldosterone sensitivity has been measured in differential blood pressure responses. The concept of aldosterone sensitivity disrupts the conventional wisdom of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and has the potential to uncover novel mechanisms of hypertension. Here, we review basic and translational science studies that uncovered differential renal responses to aldosterone and connect this earlier work to more recent observational studies and randomized trials that have demonstrated differential blood pressure responses for a given level of aldosterone in healthy and hypertensive persons. Black race and older age are associated with higher aldosterone sensitivity and blood pressure. We also discuss gaps in the field and how future basic and clinical studies might inform mechanisms of differential sensitivity.

Authors: Zachary Gray, Wanzhu Tu, Glenn M Chertow, Vivek Bhalla
Keywords: aldosterone sensitivity, urine, renal response, hypertension, blood pressure
DOI Number: 10.1152/ajprenal.00415.2020      Publication Year: 2021

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