The effect of vasodilator β-blockers on renal function in hypertensive patients

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Abstract

Background:

Not only is there a limited number of studies on the effects of vasodilator β-blocker (VBB) therapy on kidney function – specifically, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), serum creatinine (sCr) and proteinuria – but of those that have been reported, the results are mixed. This meta-analysis seeks to assess the efficacy of VBBs on selected renal parameters in hypertensive patients.

Methods:

We conducted a meta-analysis of any prospective trial that provided both baseline and follow-up of at least 4 weeks of VBB therapy – carvedilol, labetalol, dilevalol, nebivolol and celiprolol in patients with hypertension. We used Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE and PubMed, all without date restrictions. We included 39 studies totaling 3987 patients.

Results:

Although VBBs did not significantly change GFR or sCr levels after at least 4 weeks of therapy, they did significantly decrease protein excretion by −0.12 SD units [95% confidence interval (CI) −0.19 to −0.04; P < 0.01]. VBBs did not alter renal blood or plasma flow, but renal vascular resistance (RVR) decreased by −20.03 mmHg min/l (95% CI −28.92 to −11.15; P < 0.01). In the analysis which compared VBBs with non-VBBs, the only significant difference was the greater decrease in RVR in the VBB group by −38.44 mmHg min/l (95% CI −60.57 to −16.31; P < 0.01).

Conclusion:

VBBs do not affect GFR or sCr levels, but decrease protein excretion. This class of β-blockers, however, is not superior to non-VBBs in reducing proteinuria. VBBs decrease RVR significantly more than non-VBBs.

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