1. Saralasin (Sar1-Ala8-angiotensin II), a competitive inhibitor of angiotensin II (AII), has been infused into normal subjects and patients with essential hypertension when deprived of sodium by 5 days of a 10 mmol/day sodium diet.

2. When saralasin was given by an incremental rate of infusion starting at 0·25 μg min—1 kg—1, sodium-deprived normal subjects showed a fall in standing blood pressure with no change in lying blood pressure, sodium-deprived normal-renin hypertensive patients showed no change in lying or standing blood pressure and sodium-deprived low-renin patients showed a significant sustained rise in lying and standing blood pressure.

3. These findings suggest that: (a) standing blood pressure in sodium-deprived normal subjects is angiotensin II dependent; (b) normal-renin hypertensive patients when sodium deprived by diet alone do not appear to be angiotensin II dependent (angiotensin II is unlikely therefore to be directly maintaining their blood pressure on their normal sodium intake); (c) the rise in blood pressure seen in low-renin hypertensive patients with saralasin may be a further way of distinguishing this group of patients.

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