Idiopathic edema is a condition characterized by diurnal weight gain and intermittent swelling, affecting adult females without evidence of any other condition known to cause sodium retention. It has been suggested that an alteration in the aldosterone response to upright posture plays a pathogenetic role in orthostatic sodium and water retention peculiar to this syndrome. To test this hypothesis, the effect of captopril was evaluated in 4 women with idiopathic edema. The therapeutic response was impressive in all. In summary, we noted a remarkable decrease in morning to evening weight difference, an increase in both diuresis and natriuresis, and a definite symptomatic improvement. It is therefore possible to speculate that captopril, by reversing the basic abnormality acting in idiopathic edema, may prove of benefit in most patients with this peculiar syndrome.

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