oa Central African Journal of Medicine - An introduction to the pathology of systemic hypertension

Volume 8, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Leaving out of account hypertension due to tumours of the chromaffin system and those due to tumours or hyperplasia of the endocrine system, unrestrained activity of the renin-angiotensin mechanism would seem to be the main factor in most but not all cases of persistent systemic hypertension. The prime mover of such sustained harmful overaction is not known, but it might be neurogenic or more probably a genetically determined inability, expressed in later life, to inactivate effectively the renin-angiotensin system. Once established, hypertension leads to renal arteriolar lesions which in turn aggravate hypertension and so on. No lesion is pathognomonic of hypertension and arteriolar lesions seem rather to be a result than a cause of the condition, as judged by conventional microscopic examination. The pathogenesis of arteriolonecrosis is obscure, but renal failure is not necessary to its production. Address given at the Central African Medical Association Congress held in Bulawayo on 5th May 1962.

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