Methodologic problems in plasma renin activity measurements

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      The influence of pH and angiotensinase inhibitors on the in vitro generation of angiotensin I during PRA measurements has been investigated. PRA values obtained at pH 5.7 are higher than those obtained at pH 7.4. At pH 5.7, values obtained using diisopropyl-fluorophosphate (DFP 9 mM) as an angiotensinase inhibitor are higher than values obtained with a mixture of dimercaprol (BAL, 1.6 mM) and hydroxyquinoline (8-OHQ, 3 to 4 mM). Since the two methods for inhibiting angiotensinase are completely and equally efficient, it is suggested that these inhibitors might interfere with the renin angiotensinogen reaction.
      Significant correlations are observed between the PRA values obtained by the different methods which have been studied. Using an incubation pH of 5.7, and BAL and 8-OH quinoline as angiotensinase inhibitors, the distribution of PRA values in a population of 124 hospitalized hypertensive patients ingesting a normal sodium diet has been studied, and it has been demonstrated that the sensitivity of this method of measurement can detect small changes in PRA in patients with low renin activity.
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