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Hypertension Research Network

Work-packages 3: Body Sodium

WP3. Contribution of body-sodium reservoirs to the development of RH

Dr. Alexander Ciritsis, Dr. Andreas Meier, PD Dr. Cristina Rossi

Traditionally accepted physiological models predict a strict coupling between sodium intake, water retention and regulation of blood pressure. However, recent studies performed with techniques of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) able to detect the signal of the sodium isotope 23Na documented significant amounts of sodium reservoirs in the skin, which are not related to fluid retention. Furthermore, blood pressure regulation seems to be influenced by the sodium retained in the subdermal interstitium by mechanisms which involve the immune system. This work-package will address the issue of the implementation of 23Na-MRI for imaging of body areas involved in blood pressure deregulation in a clinical setting. Moreover, body sodium reservoirs detected with MRI will be correlated to measurements of tissue viability and function performed by conventional 1H-MRI, measurements of vascular remodeling, analysis of urine exosomes, and multi-steroid profiles. The main aim of this work package is to understand the role of body sodium reservoirs in the deregulation of hypertension and to investigate the interaction between sodium imbalance and microvascular remodeling in patients.