An in-depth examination of the excretion of albumin and other sensitive markers of renal damage in mild hypertension

Patricia W. Mueller, W. Dallas Hall, Samuel P. Caudill, Mary Louise MacNeil, Arvin Arepally

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30 Scopus citations


In an in-depth examination to better define the renal effects of mild hypertension, we used urinary proteins to indicate damage to the glomerulus (albumin), tubular reabsorption capability (retinolbinding protein), and turnover of tubular tissue (alanine aminopeptidase and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase) in a group of 18 people with mild hypertension not associated with diabetes and a control group (n = 12). The participants' activity was controlled on a high normal salt diet for 3 days followed by a low salt diet for 4 days. Two distinct patterns of albumin excretion were evident in the hypertensive group: 22% had elevated, highly variable excretion patterns, and the rest had tightly grouped values below 16 mg/g creatinine, 16 μg/min, or 16 mg/L, with the lowest within-person biological variability given by albumin calculated as a ratio to creatinine. Albumin and NAG excretion primarily correlated with systolic blood pressure and the best correlations were given by ratios to creatinine. A marked decrease in salt excretion of 71% (to 50.8 mEq/day) resulted in significant (P < .0005) decreases in systolic (13.9 mm Hg), diastolic (6.4 mm Hg), and mean arterial pressures (8.9 mm Hg) only in the group with mild hypertension. However, albumin excretion did not decrease when dietary salt content was lowered. The group with hypertension also had higher urinary excretion of lysosomal N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (P < .01), and whites in the group had a higher excretion of retinol-binding protein than did whites in the control group (P < .02). Retinol-binding protein values, however, were within the normal range, indicating that the elevated albumin values were the result of changes in selectivity of the glomerulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1072-1082
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995


  • Albumin
  • N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase
  • alanine aminopeptidase
  • creatinine
  • glomerulus
  • kidney damage
  • mild hypertension
  • retinol-binding protein
  • salt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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