Prostaglandins are part of the family of oxygenated metabolites of arachidonic acid known collectively as eicosanoids. While they are formed, act, and are inactivated locally and rarely circulate in plasma, they can affect blood flow in some tissues and so might contribute to the control of peripheral vascular resistance. Few studies have shown any derangement of total body prostaglandin synthesis or metabolism in hypertension, but increased renal synthesis of one prostanoid, thromboxane A2, has been noted in spontaneously hypertensive rats and some hypertensive humans. This potent vasoconstrictor may account for the increased renal vascular resistance and suppressed plasma renin activity seen in many patients with hypertension. Increased renal vascular resistance could increase the blood pressure directly as a component of total peripheral resistance or indirectly by increasing glomerular filtration fraction and tubular sodium reabsorption. Specific thromboxane synthesis inhibitors not only decrease renal thromboxane production but also increase renal vasodilator prostaglandin synthesis when prostaglandin synthesis is stimulated. This redirection of renal prostaglandin synthesis toward prostacyclin might be of benefit in correcting a fundamental renal defect in patients with hypertension.