Hypertension and nephrology

[The effect of antihypertensive drugs on central blood pressure]


FEBRUARY 28, 2011

Hypertension and nephrology - 2011;15(01)

[It is well known, that there is a difference between peripheral and central systolic and pulse pressure. As the pressure wave travels distally from the heart, there is a significant increase, which is called pressure amplification. Central blood pressure can be measured easily and non-invasively, and the result shows a positive correlation with cardiovascular end-points. Several antihypertensive drugs can differently decrease central and peripheral blood pressure. The effect of diuretics on central systolic and pulse pressure is neutral or negative. While traditional β-blockers (e.g. atenolol) have a definitive negative effect, nebivolol shows a positive one. The calcium antagonists tend to have a favorable effect, while the clear beneficial effect of the angiotensin converting enzime inhibitors is well documented. There are only few data on angiotensin receptor blockers, however, the results seem to be promising.]



Further articles in this publication

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[Scylla and Charybdis - the treatment of hypertension]

RADÓ János

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[The clinical significance of peripheral and central blood pressure form the neurologist’s point of view]


[Hypertension - affecting both the large and the small cerebral vessels - is the most frequent risk factor for cerebrovascular disorders manifesting in stroke, hypertensive encephalopathy or vascular dementia. The central pressure measured at the proximal part of the aorta has more important role in the development of vascular hypertrophy and carotid atherosclerosis than the pressure measured in the brachial artery. Central aortic pressure more accurately reflects the filling conditions of the left ventricle and thus the pressure conditions affecting the cerebral vascular system, than brachial pressure values, therefore possibly predicts more reliably the risk of cardiovascular events than brachial pressure values. Features of the stiffness of large arteries (like pulse wave velocity) more directly reflect the chronic effect of ageing, hypertension and diabetes than brachial or even central aortic pressure. Therefore in upcoming clinical trials arterial stiffness and central aortic pressure should be considered as possible surrogate endpoints. Antihypertensive treatment is an important part of primary and secondary stroke prevention. Decreasing blood pressure in hypertensive subjects significantly decreases the risk of stroke and other vascular events, and the extent of risk reduction primarily depends on the extent of the decrease in blood pressure. Several factors should be considered when choosing from treatment options. The use of traditional β blockers - partly due to their smaller effects on central blood pressure - decreased recently. Further observations will decide on the role of third generation β blockers in the prevention of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.]

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[Direct renin inhibitors]


[The mechanisms of action of direct renin inhibitors and the important clinical findings gained by the first, clinically approved drug, aliskiren are discussed. The relative lack of side effects and the very long-lasting antihypertensive action of aliskiren is emphasized. Investigations showing efficacy and protective effects of aliskiren and its combinations with other antihypertensive drugs (diuretics, calcium antagonists, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers) against hypertension-induced subclinical organ damage as well as still ongoing clinical trials are also described.]

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[Importance, prevalence and therapy of vitamin D deficiency]

SZABÓ András

[Annual citations in the PubMed database on vitamin D were approximately 5000, this represents a doubling in the last decade and a 20% increase in the last year. There is renewed interest in vitamin D synthesis, metabolism and action. The two principal reasons for increased interest can be: 1. new knowledge regarding the nonhormonal, autocrine, and paracrine actions of 1,25-dihydroxylated vitamin D metabolites in man, 2. the worsening, worldwide trend to vitamin D insufficiency. Clinical vitamin D research in last years has confirmed the presence of a worldwide problem of vitamin D depletion, a problem that appears to be worsening. Largescale population based studies bear out long-held concerns that low serum 25(OH)D levels are associated with a number of adverse outcomes in the human musculoskeletal, innate immune, and cardiovascular systems. In fact, low vitamin D levels are significantly associated with all-cause mortality in the U.S. population and Hungary respectively. It is hypothesized that the global rise in incidence of obesity contributes to the worsening of the problem of vitamin D deficiency, amplifying adverse impacts on the host skeleton, immunoreactivity to microbes, and metabolic status. Finally, it should be remembered that treatment of vitamin D deficiency has two phases: restoration of 25(OH)D levels up to more than 30 ng/ml; and maintenance of the serum 25(OH)D level in that range. The present upper level (UL) of vitamin D intake that is deemed to be safe (2000 IU/day) must be re-evaluated considering data acquired over the past 15 years.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[The importance of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in kidney fibrosis]


[Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a central role in physiological and pathological processes of embryogenesis, carcinogenesis and tissue fibrosis. During EMT epithelial cells may transform to myofibroblasts, which are the effector cells of fibrosis. In our summary the process of EMT and its medical importance will be reviewed in relation to renal fibrosis. Regardless of the initiating cause the final common mechanism of organ fibrosis is similar in the different chronic renal diseases. It always involves major inflammatory responses, however the molecular mechanisms involved are still elusive. The EMT now takes centre stage as the point of convergence between inflammation and the progression of degenerative fibrotic diseases. Understanding the pathomechanism of EMT and the significance of signalling pathways involved in this process may lead to a new therapeutic approach in the treatment of chronic renal diseases.]

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[Affective temperaments (cyclothymic, hypertymic, depressive, anxious, irritable) are stable parts of personality and after adolescent only their minor changes are detectable. Their connections with psychopathology is well-described; depressive temperament plays role in major depression, cyclothymic temperament in bipolar II disorder, while hyperthymic temperament in bipolar I disorder. Moreover, scientific data of the last decade suggest, that affective temperaments are also associated with somatic diseases. Cyclothymic temperament is supposed to have the closest connection with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is higher parallel with the presence of dominant cyclothymic affective temperament and in this condition the frequency of cardiovascular complications in hypertensive patients was also described to be higher. In chronic hypertensive patients cyclothymic temperament score is positively associated with systolic blood pressure and in women with the earlier development of hypertension. The background of these associations is probably based on the more prevalent presence of common risk factors (smoking, obesity, alcoholism) with more pronounced cyclothymic temperament. The scientific importance of the research of the associations of personality traits including affective temperaments with somatic disorders can help in the identification of higher risk patient subgroups.]

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[Notes on the management of hypertension in chronic kidney disease ]


[The prevalence of hypertension among pa­tients with chronic kidney disease is high, reaching more than 80%. Hypertension is both one of the main causes and also the most common consequence of chronic kidney disease. It is also a main factor responsible for the high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in this patient population. Blood pressure control can improve patient outcomes, lower cardiovascular risk and slow down the progression of kidney dis­ease, irrespective of the underlying cause. The optimal therapy should therefore focus not only on blood pressure reduction but also on renoprotection. Basic understanding of the renal pathophysiology in hypertension and renal effects of various medications is of paramount importance. In this review, we summarized cornerstones of the antihypertensive therapy in patients with chronic kidney disease. The management of patients receiving kidney replacement therapies, such as hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or transplanta­tion requires special knowledge and expe­rience, therefore it is not discussed here. The aim of this review was to allow non-nephrologist physicians to take care of their kidney patients with more confidence and effectiveness.]

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[The importance of assessing subclinical organ damage in risk prediction of hypertensive patients]

GODINA Gabriella, JÁRAI Zoltán

[As the cardiovascular risk influences the quality and intensity of blood pressure lowering therapy, the goal blood pressure values and the frequency of medical control of hypertensive patients, as well as global risk assessment has an important role in the management of hypertension. In the last couple of years many data have been accumulated showing the poor prognostic value of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. This is the reason why recent Hungarian and international guidelines on the management of hypertension advise the screening for subclinical organ damage. Our goal was to summarize the importance of subclinical organ damage by discussing recently published literature on this topic. An overview has been made on the markers of vascular subclinical damage, like carotid atherosclerosis proved with carotid ultrasonography, peripheral arterial disease assessed with ankle-brachial pressure index measurements and vascular rigidity defined with pulse wave velocity measurements. The prognostic values of myocardial hypertrophy assessed with ECG and/or echocardiography and renal damage proved with decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate and proteinuria are also discussed. Summing up what has been said so far, the assessment of subclinical organ damage has a role in cardiovascular risk prediction, however more randomized and prospective studies have to be performed to define the most suitable (i.e. the most reliable and the most cost-effective) markers for this purpose.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

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[The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is one of the most important mechanisms regarding the pathomechanism and treatment of hyprtension. The most of the elements of the RAS are found in the nervous system too. The effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is based on the inhibition of the RAS. ARBs might have a special role in the central nervous system because they do not decrease the production of angiotensin but inhibit its harmful effects mediated through the AT1 receptor while allowing the stimulation of AT2 receptors with resulting pleiotrophic actions. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke and has a negative effect on cognitive functions. Antihypertensive treatment has an effect on the nervous system; in addition to the consequences of the reduced blood pressure, ARBs might provide additional advantages in stroke and dementia prevention.]