Although many investigations have looked at the renal injury caused by Leishmania spp., its role in the development of arterial hypertension in animals with visceral leishmaniasis is not completely understood. In this study, 18 adult dogs with visceral leishmaniasis underwent an indirect blood pressure measurement. Also, sera and spot urine were used for laboratory tests. The median systolic blood pressure was 135.2 mm Hg (95% CI: 128,5–147,7), median mean arterial pressure was 105.8 mm Hg (98,3–110,4), and median diastolic arterial pressure was 88.5 mm Hg (77,8–92,5). No association existed (p = 0,8938) between blood pressure data and clinical signs when dogs were grouped in asymptomatic, oligosymptomatic or polysymptomatic animals. Correlations were not documented between blood pressure data and serum creatinine (mean ± standard deviation: 1,1 ± 0,4 mg/dl), blood urea (39,4 ± 21,5 mg/dl), urine protein-to-creatinine ratio (1,0 ± 0,9), urine specific gravity (1,023 ± 0,013), and the fractional excretion of sodium (1,0 ± 0,4%) and potassium (9,8 ± 4,9%). Renal biopsies were obtained from 12 dogs that eventually died. Mild inflammation with a lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate was demonstrated in 6/12 of the samples, whereas 3/12 showed moderate inflammation with multifocal lymphoplasmacytic and histiocytic infiltrates. Multifocal degeneration and protein casts were observed in 2/12 of the samples. Immunohistochemistry using anti-Leishmania spp. antibodies have stained the renal epithelium in only 2/12 of the animals.
No association existed between hypertension and the identification of inflammation on histopathology when SAP > 140 mm Hg was considered as a diagnostic cut-off for systemic hypertension. Only a small subset of animals had systemic hypertension. However, no relationship between the severity of clinical signs and hypertension was documented.