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Mechanisms of Salt-Sensitive Hypertension

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 1 ]


Leonella Luzardo, Oscar Noboa and Jose Boggia   Pages 14 - 21 ( 8 )


Hypertension and its consequences, including heart failure, stroke, and kidney disease, are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Lifestyle changes, particularly sodium reduction, contribute to blood pressure control. However, not all individuals, whether normotensive or hypertensive, have the same susceptibility to the effects of salt. While a variety of approaches have been proposed to identify salt sensitive patients, there is no consensus for a definition of salt sensitivity and the precise mechanisms that explain their association are not yet fully understood. In this review we summarize the current understanding of the various pathophysiological mechanisms potentially involved in determining the salt sensitive phenotype. Genetic, neuronal, and immune alterations are reviewed. Additionally, we provide an update on the current knowledge of a new approach proposing the interstitium of the skin may act as a sodium reservoir. The role of dietary potassium on salt sensitive hypertension is also summarized.


Hypertension, pathophysiology, pressure natriuresis, salt intake, salt sensitivity.


Unidad de Hipertension Arterial, Centro de Nefrologia, Departamento de Fisiopatologia, Hospital de Clinicas Dr. Manuel Quintela, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay.

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