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Research Article

Immediate plasma renin response to propranolol: differentiation between essential and renal hypertension.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 17 July 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:144
  1. F Skrabal,
  2. W Czaykowska,
  3. P Dittrich,
  4. H Braunsteiner


    The immediate short-term effect on plasma renin activity of intravenous injection of propranolol was studied in 31 normal subjects and 166 hypertensive patients. In patients with essential hypertension and normal subjects plasma renin activity fell considerably within 15 minutes; the fall was directly proportional to initial plasma renin levels. In contrast, in patients with renal hypertension the fall was much less pronounced or totally absent. These differences in response to propranolol provide, though presently only on a group basis, a biochemical means of differentiating between patients with renal hypertension and those with essential hypertension. The observations also indicate that, unlike normal subjects and patients with essential hypertension, in patients with renal hypertension sympathetic activity plays no part in the control of basal plasma renin levels.