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Elevations of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) in congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) are presumably due to atrial hypertension, while secondary hyperaldosteronism in these patients is thought to result from diminished renal perfusion. The responsiveness of the ANP and renin (PRA)-aldosterone (PA) systems to acute increases in right atrial pressure has not been studied in these patients, but in normals a reciprocal relationship between ANP with PRA and PA has been shown. The authors monitored venous pressure (VP, reflective of right atrial pressure), ANP, PRA and PA in 15 stable COLD patients, seven stable CHF patients and three normal controls at baseline and after elevation of VP by antishock trousers. Inflation of the trousers resulted in increased VP and ANP (p < 0.05): control ANP, 84 /- 17 to 108 /- 23 pg/ml; COLD ANP, 176 /- 5 to 200 /- 7; and CHF ANP, 388 /- 20 to 499 /- 37. PRA and PA were not suppressed by increasing ANP levels and the delta ANP delta VP ratio was similar among groups. No intergroup differences in resting PRA and PA were noted, but PRA was higher (p = 0.007) and PA tended to be higher (p = 0.08) in a sub-group of six edematous patients, as compared with non-edematous patients and controls. These findings: (1) confirm previously reported ANP differences between COLD and CHF; (2 indicate that the ANP system remains responsive to physiologic manipulations in COLD and CHF; and (3) demonstrate that ANP and the PRA-PA axis are not reciprocally related in either group.

(C) Copyright 1989 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation