Treatment of Resistant and Refractory Hypertension

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2019 American Heart Association, Inc. Resistant hypertension (RHTN) is defined as uncontrolled blood pressure despite the use of ≥3 antihypertensive agents of different classes, including a diuretic, usually thiazide-like, a long-acting calcium channel blocker, and a blocker of the renin- angiotensin system, either an ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor or an ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker), at maximal or maximally tolerated doses. Antihypertensive medication nonadherence and the white coat effect, defined as elevated blood pressure when measured in clinic but controlled when measured outside of clinic, must be excluded to make the diagnosis. RHTN is a high-risk phenotype, leading to increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease outcomes. Healthy lifestyle habits are associated with reduced cardiovascular risk in patients with RHTN. Aldosterone excess is common in patients with RHTN, and addition of spironolactone or amiloride to the standard 3-drug antihypertensive regimen is effective at getting the blood pressure to goal in most of these patients. Refractory hypertension is defined as uncontrolled blood pressure despite use of ≥5 antihypertensive agents of different classes, including a long-acting thiazide-like diuretic and an MR (mineralocorticoid receptor) antagonist, at maximal or maximally tolerated doses. Fluid retention, mediated largely by aldosterone excess, is the predominant mechanism underlying RHTN, while patients with refractory hypertension typically exhibit increased sympathetic nervous system activity.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Acelajado MC; Hughes ZH; Oparil S; Calhoun DA
  • Start Page

  • 1061
  • End Page

  • 1070
  • Volume

  • 124
  • Issue

  • 7