Cardiovascular, Endocrine, and Renal Responses to Dietary Sodium Restriction
The kidneys are richly innervated by the sympathetic nervous system (Sutters 1992). The role of this sympathetic innervation in the adaptation to changes in dietary sodium intake in persons with spinal cord injury and impaired sympathetic nervous systems warrant study.
In a study by Sutters et al. (1992) the effects of change from a high to low sodium diet on renal sodium and water excretion and hormonal responses were studied in nine individuals with tetraplegia (dissociated sympathetic control) and in six individuals with paraplegia (intact sympathetic systems). Given the results, the authors suggested that direct sympathetic control of the kidney is not required for renal sodium conservation in response to dietary salt restriction; however, is likely involved in the hemodynamic and hormonal responses.
There is level 3 evidence (from one case control study: Sutters et al. 1992) that sympathetic control of the kidney is not required for renal sodium conservation in response to dietary salt restriction.