1. No significant relationship was found between blood pressure and blood volume, sulphate space or plasma angiotensin II concentration in 59 non-nephrectomized haemodialysis patients, of whom 42 were hypertensive. Supine mean blood pressure was only weakly correlated with plasma renin activity and the correlation was not improved when blood pressure was related to expressions combining renin and volume.
2. Changes in supine mean blood pressure during saralasin infusion were related to pre-infusion plasma renin activity (P < 0·001) or plasma angiotensin II (P < 0·02) but also to blood volume (P < 0·001) or sulphate space (P < 0·001). A fall of more than 10% in mean blood pressure during saralasin infusion was observed in only 12 patients (one normotensive), in five of whom there was evidence of volume depletion.
3. Thirteen patients (nine hypertensive) were studied at two levels of dietary sodium: 100 mmol/day and < 20 mmol/day. Supine mean blood pressure in hypertensive patients was lower during the period of higher salt intake despite increased volumes.
4. Hypertension in haemodialysis patients cannot be adequately explained by abnormalities either in volume homeostasis and/or in the renin—angiotensin system.