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Treatment of posttransplant hypertension is still a matter of debate. Calcium antagonists may ameliorate renal side effects of cyclosporin. Angiotensin converting enzyme- (ACE) inhibitors may be more effective in sustaining renal function in native chronic renal disease. We prospectively compared the effect of controlled release nifedipine and lisinopril on long-term renal function in hypertensive kidney transplant patients treated with cyclosporin.A total of 154 renal transplant patients presenting with hypertension (diastolic blood pressure ≥95 mmHg) during the first 3 weeks after transplantation were randomised to receive double-blind nifedipine 30 mg or lisinopril 10 mg once daily. A total of 123 patients completed 1 year of treatment (69 nifedipine, 54 lisinopril) and 64 patients completed 2 years of double-blind treatment (39 nifedipine, 25 lisinopril). Baseline glomerular filtration rate was measured as 99 mTc-diethylene-triaminepentaacetate clearance in a stable phase 2 to 5 weeks after inclusion and repeated at 1 and 2 years.Baseline glomerular filtration rates were similar (46±16 ml/min with nifedipine, 43±14 ml/min with lisinopril). The changes in glomerular filtration rates from baseline were statistically significant between the groups after 1 year (9.6 ml/min mean treatment difference (95% confidence interval [CI]s 5.5–13.7 ml/min, P =0.0001) and remained statistically significant also after 2 years (10.3 ml/min mean difference (95% CIs 4.0–16.6], P =0.0017). After 1 year glomerular filtration rates averaged 56±19 ml/min in the nifedipine group and 44±14 ml/min in the lisinopril group.Both nifedipine and lisinopril were safe and effective in treatment of hypertension in renal transplant patients treated with cyclosporin. Patients receiving nifedipine but not lisinopril improved kidney transplant function over a period of 2 years.