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The effects of frusemide, saralasin and hypotension on fetal plasma renin activity and on fetal renal function.

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  • Research Article


1. In eleven chronically catheterized fetal sheep aged 124-142 days, hypotension caused by infusion of sodium nitroprusside (1.6-3.3 mg/h) and competitive antagonism of angiotensin II by saralasin (3.3 mg/h) both caused a fall in fetal urine flow (P less than 0.02 and P less than 0.05, respectively), and in sodium excretion (P less than 0.05 and P less than 0.01) because they both caused a fall in glomerular filtration rate (G.F.R., P less than 0.02 and P less than 0.01). Neither hypotension nor saralasin had any significant effect on fractional sodium reabsorption. Saralasin only caused a significant fall in systolic pressure (P = 0.05) while infusion of sodium nitroprusside caused a fall in both systolic and diastolic pressure (P less than 0.005 and P less than 0.02). 2. Frusemide (6 mg I.V) caused a marked natriuresis and diuresis (F = 24.9, P less than 0.005 and F = 30.5, P less than 0.005). This effect was maximal within 30 min. There was no change in fetal G.F.R. and there was a significant decrease in the fraction of the filtered sodium load that was reabsorbed (F = 10.44, P less than 0.0025). Fetal mean plasma renin activity (p.r.a.) rose progressively throughout (F = 9.3, P less than 0.005). When frusemide was given to fetal sheep which were hypotensive because they were infused with sodium nitroprusside, it still caused a diuresis (F = 5.73, P less than 0.025) and the fraction of the filtered sodium load that was reabsorbed decreased (F = 4.06, P less than 0.05) to a similar extent to that seen in animals given frusemide alone. On the other hand, frusemide was ineffective as a diuretic i.e. it had no effect on fractional sodium reabsorption, when given to fetal sheep which were infused with saralasin. 3. Injection of frusemide was associated with a significant rise in the diastolic pressures of hypotensive fetuses (P less than 0.05). Furthermore, when the infusion of saralasin was terminated 1.5 h after frusemide injection, blood pressure rose significantly (F = 11.19, P less than 0.0005 for systolic pressure and F = 7.15, P less than 0.005 for diastolic pressure) and p.r.a. fell (F = 4.78, P less than 0.025). 4. It is concluded that the fetal renin-angiotensin system can play a significant role in regulation of fetal blood pressure.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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