Introduction and aims: Recent studies have suggested that aldosterone has many effects in addition to its ability to cause the kidney to retain sodium. To test the hypothesis that aldosterone can cause hypertension in a manner that does not involve renal sodium retention, we administered eplerenone, a specific aldosterone antagonist, to oligo-anuric chronic hemodialysis patients who had HTN. Methods: 220 chronic hemodialysis patients underwent initial screening. Of these, 8 patients were followed for 8 weeks and their blood pressure, weight, plasma potassium, aldosterone levels and plasma renin activity were recorded. After a 4 week run in period, each patient received eplerenone 25 mg twice daily for another 4 weeks. Results: Administration of eplerenone for 4 weeks decreased predialysis systolic blood pressure from 166 ± 14 to 153 ± 10 mmHg (p < 0.05). Eplerenone had no effect on diastolic blood pressure, potassium, predialysis weight, intradialytic weight gain, plasma aldosterone or PRA. Conclusion: Eplerenone significantly reduces systolic blood pressure in oligo-anuric hypertensive hemodialysis patients without effect on plasma aldosterone concentrations or plasma renin activity. Plasma potassium increases minimally after 4 weeks of therapy, a finding that raises some concern for long-term eplerenone use in chronic hemodialysis.
- Blood pressure
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