RICHARD L. TANNEN, M.D.
Potassium depletion causes hypotension in normotensive animals and can lower the blood pressure in hypertensive animals and humans. Potential mechanisms for this hypotensive effect include a decrease in aldosterone levels, a decrease in vasopressin, and decreased responsiveness to the pressor effects of angiotensin II. The decreased response to angiotensin II could result from increased prostaglandin production, receptor occupancy, or a decrease in angiotensin II receptor affinity. A high potassium intake has no effect on blood pressure in normotensive animals and humans, but lowers blood pressure in those with hypertension. Mechanisms for this antihypertensive effect include natriuresis with sodium depletion, a decrease in plasma renin activity, an alteration in the neurogenic components of blood pressure regulation, and effects on resistance vessels related either to a high potassium concentration or to a decrease in the number of angiotensin II receptors.
TANNEN RL. Effects of Potassium on Blood Pressure Control. Ann Intern Med. ;98:773–780. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-98-5-773
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1983;98(5_Part_2):773-780.
Cardiology, Coronary Risk Factors, Hypertension, Nephrology.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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