1. Within 24 h of surgical reversal of chronic Goldblatt two-kidney, one-clip hypertension in the rat, of >4 months duration, blood pressure had fallen to normal levels. At this time there was no difference between the effects of removal of the clip or the ischaemic kidney but, at 60 days after reversal, the blood pressure of rats which had been nephrectomized was significantly higher than that of normal controls.
2. The fall in blood pressure was associated with a fall in total peripheral resistance to normal by 24 h despite the previous established fact that structural vascular changes take much longer to reverse. There was a corresponding rise in cardiac output, mainly due to an increase in stroke volume. Nephrectomized rats had a significantly higher stroke volume compared with those unclipped 24 h after operation.
3. As blood pressure can become normal in the presence of structural cardiovascular change by a fall in total peripheral resistance it would seem unlikely that resistance vessel hypertrophy is responsible for the maintenance of blood pressure in this model. Another peripherally acting mechanism therefore has to be postulated.