Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine
2016, vol. 25, nr 1, January-February, p. 173–183
Publication type: review article
1 Department of Internal Medicine, Occupational Diseases and Hypertension, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland
2 Wrovasc – Integrated Cardiovascular Center, Research and Development Department, Provincial Specialist Hospital in Wrocław, Poland
Resistant hypertension is a severe medical condition which is estimated to appear in 9–18% of hypertensive patients. Due to higher cardiovascular risk, this disorder requires special diagnosis and treatment. The heterogeneous etiology, risk factors and comorbidities of resistant hypertension stand in need of sophisticated evaluation to confirm the diagnosis and select the best therapeutic options, which should consider lifestyle modifications as well as pharmacological and interventional treatment. After having excluded pseudohypertension, inappropriate blood pressure measurement and control as well as the white coat effect, suspicion of resistant hypertension requires an analysis of drugs which the hypertensive patient is treated with. According to one definition – ineffective treatment with 3 or more antihypertensive drugs including diuretics makes it possible to diagnose resistant hypertension. A multidrug therapy including angiotensin – converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, long-acting calcium channel blockers and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists has been demonstrated to be effective in resistant hypertension treatment. Nevertheless, optional, innovative therapies, e.g. a renal denervation or baroreflex activation, may create a novel pathway of blood pressure lowering procedures. The right diagnosis of this disease needs to eliminate the secondary causes of resistant hypertension e.g. obstructive sleep apnea, atherosclerosis and renal or hormonal disorders. This paper briefly summarizes the identification of the causes of resistant hypertension and therapeutic strategies, which may contribute to the proper diagnosis and an improvement of the long term management of resistant hypertension.
diagnosis, management, resistant hypertension
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