Research Article

Effect of stilboestrol on sodium balance, cardiac state, and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone activity in prostatic carcinoma.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.291.6507.1461 (Published 23 November 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:1461
  1. B Blyth,
  2. C U McRae,
  3. E A Espiner,
  4. M G Nicholls,
  5. J V Conaglen,
  6. N Gilchrist

    Abstract

    A prospective study examined the sequential effects of diethylstilboestrol (stilboestrol) on sodium balance, cardiac state, and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone activity in six patients with metastatic carcinoma of the prostate. Whereas metabolic balance studies did not show evidence of sodium retention during the first seven days of treatment, there was a significant and progressive increase in plasma volume after three months (mean increase 541 ml; p less than 0.01). Stilboestrol increased supine plasma renin and angiotensin II values but the response of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone activity to erect posture was progressively reduced during treatment. No significant changes in blood pressure or indices of cardiac function occurred during the three months of observation. The findings of increased basal renin-angiotensin-aldosterone activity and an increase in plasma volume suggest an important mechanism of the cardiac complications associated with oestrogen treatment.