1. Blood pressure, blood volume and renal blood flow were determined in 101 men; forty-three were normal subjects and fifty-eight were untreated permanent essential hypertensive patients with normal renal function and equilibrated sodium balance.

2. A significant negative pressure—volume relationship was observed overall. The relationship could be expressed as a hyperbola whose slope expressed the reduction in blood volume per unit rise in pressure: the higher the blood pressure, the lower the slope. Thus essential hypertensive subjects have a smaller decrement in blood volume per unit rise in pressure than normal subjects.

3. The relation between change in blood volume and change in pressure was confirmed in each individual by defining for each a ratio ΔV/ΔP, statistically identical with the hyperbolic slope dV/dP. The ΔV/ΔP ratio was found to be well correlated with the renal blood flow and the creatinine clearance. No correlation existed between the total blood volume and these two renal parameters.

4. It is concluded that the present study demonstrates a blood volume regulation disturbance in essential hypertension and provides evidence from human studies that a renal defect accompanies high blood pressure.

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