JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Pathophysiology of essential hypertension: role of the pump, the vessel, and the kidney

Ashley E Cain, Raouf A Khalil
Seminars in Nephrology 2002, 22 (1): 3-16
11785064
Essential hypertension is characterized by significant and persistent elevations in arterial pressure. Hypertension is a multifactorial disorder that may involve abnormalities in the functions of the heart pump, the blood vessels, and the kidneys. Short-term and long-term regulation of arterial pressure is influenced by changes in cardiac function, the peripheral vascular resistance, and the renal control mechanisms of plasma electrolytes and volume. Increases in the heart rate and stroke volume lead to increases in the cardiac output and could contribute to increases in arterial pressure particularly in relatively young individuals. Vascular endothelial cell dysfunction could lead to reduction in endothelium-derived relaxing factors such as nitric oxide, prostacyclin, and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor, or increased production of contracting factors such as endothelin-1 and thromboxane A2. Also, increased activity of signaling pathways of vascular smooth muscle contraction such as [Ca(2+)]i, protein kinase C, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and Rho kinase could enhance vasoconstriction. The decreased vascular relaxation and excessive vasoconstriction lead to significant increases in the peripheral vascular resistance and arterial pressure over time, particularly with aging. Alterations in body fluid regulation by the kidneys could lead to salt and water retention, increased plasma volume, and cardiac output. Also, activation of the renin-angiotensin system increases the levels of angiotensin II in the plasma, leading to generalized vasoconstriction, or locally in the kidneys, leading to salt and water retention. Individual changes in cardiac, vascular, or renal function seldom occur separately, and, if so, they may lead to mild or moderate increases in arterial pressure. Combined alterations in cardiac, vascular, and renal functions are more common and are often associated with pathologic increases in arterial pressure and established hypertension.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
11785064
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"