1979 Volume 26 Issue 5 Pages 541-547
We describe the natural recovery from the aggravated hypertension, hypokalemia and suppression of the renin-aldosterone axis after the glycyrrhizin discontinuation in two mild hypertensive women aged 71 and 68 years, who had been administered 273 to 546mg glycyrrhizin daily for 1.5 and 6 months, respectively, for the treatment of liver disease. About one month after the glycyrrhizin discontinuation, acceleration of hypertension, hypokalemia and suppression of the renin-aldosterone system still continued in both patients. At this stage, sodium restriction resulted in the normalization of blood pressure with weight loss and the subsequent sodium repletion produced a rapid increase in blood pressure to hypertensive levels observed before sodium restriction, with weight gain. Plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone were low and did not respond to sodium restriction. Inappropriately excessive amounts of potassium were also excreted in the presence of hypokalemia. About one and a half months later, the improvements of aggravated hypertension, hypokalemia and suppressed renin-aldosterone system gradually occurred in both patients. Sodium restriction performed about three months later in case 2 no longer produced the changes in blood pressure and body weight. Plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone responded subnormally to sodium restriction.
These results demonstrate that both patients had a prolongation of the syndrome resembling primary aldosteronism except the low plasma aldosterone level about one month after the glycyrrhizin discontinuation. The possible mechanisms by which this prolongation was caused are discussed.