Vascular injury related to chronic kidney disease results in increased arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction which may affect arterial blood pressure (BP) and influence patient and graft survival in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs).
This cross-sectional study aims to elucidate the relationship between the above-mentioned measures of vascular damage and effectiveness of antihypertensive treatment in KTR.
One hundred forty-five KTRs 7.6 ± 2.7 years after transplantation were enrolled in our study. Pulse wave velocity (PWV), flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and nitroglycerin-mediated dilation (NMD) were measured, and 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring was performed.
Overall, there were 62 patients with well-controlled or borderline BP and 83 subjects who did not achieve target BP despite antihypertensive treatment. Patients with suboptimal BP control were characterized by greater PWV (median 9.6/interquartile range: 3.9 vs 8.0/3.3 m/s, P = .002), but borderline lower FMD (8.4% ± 5.0% vs 9.9% ± 5.7%; P = .09) as compared with the group with better BP control. When patients were allocated to subgroups based on the number of current antihypertensive medications, no differences in FMD and NMD were found. However, a significant trend was observed for higher PWV values and decreased proportion of dippers along with the increasing number of drugs. PWV, diabetes, and total cholesterol level, but not FMD or NMD, were explanatory variables for systolic BP in multivariate analysis.
Arterial stiffness but not endothelial dysfunction is associated with suboptimal BP control in stable KTRs. Less efficient antihypertensive treatment appears to be caused by inadequate control of nocturnal BP.