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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 11

of 'Can drug therapy be discontinued in well-controlled hypertension?'

Vasodilatation, not hypotension, improves resistance vessel design during treatment of essential hypertension: a literature survey.
Christensen KL, Mulvany MJ
J Hypertens. 2001;19(6):1001.
Correction of structural abnormalities in resistance arteries of patients with essential hypertension is a potential treatment goal, in addition to blood pressure reduction. However, available evidence from human as well as from animal studies indicates that antihypertensive therapy is not always accompanied by normalization of resistance vessel structure, despite normalization of blood pressure. Thus, blood pressure is not the only factor determining resistance vessel structure, and experimental studies show that several factors could play a role, including shear stress and hormonal stimulation. To date, there has been no systematic review of the many published papers which have studied the structural effects of antihypertensive therapy, and it is not known which conditions are best able to normalize resistance vessel structure. We have therefore made a survey of the available literature. The survey shows that change in blood pressure in indeed a poor indicator of change in resistance vessel structure. However, it is a remarkably consistent finding that normalization of resistance vessel structure is obtained with therapeutic regimens which reduce blood pressure by vasodilation rather than by lowering cardiac output Thus, to the extent that normalization of resistance vessel structure is deemed a goal of antihypertensive treatment, the survey points towards the importance of considering not only the treatment effect on blood pressure, but also the haemodynamic effects within patients with essential hypertension.
Department of Pharmacology, University of Aarhus, Denmark. klc@dadlnet.dk