Arm cuff blood pressure (BP) may overestimate cardiovascular risk. Central aortic BP predicts mortality and could be a better method for patient management. We sought to determine the usefulness of central BP to guide hypertension management. This was a prospective, open-label, blinded-end point study in 286 patients with hypertension randomized to treatment decisions guided by best-practice usual care (n=142; using office, home, and 24-hour ambulatory BP) or, in addition, by central BP intervention (n=144; using SphygmoCor). Therapy was reviewed every 3 months for 12 months, and recommendations were provided to each patient and his/her doctor on antihypertensive medication titration. Outcome measures were as follows: medication quantity (daily defined dose), quality of life, and left ventricular mass (3-dimensional echocardiography). There was 92% compliance with recommendations on medication titration, and quality of life improved in both groups (post hoc P<0.05). For usual care, there was no change in daily defined dose (all P>0.10), but with intervention there was a significant stepwise decrease in daily defined dose from baseline to 3 months (P=0.008) and each subsequent visit (all P<0.001). Intervention was associated with cessation of medication in 23 (16%) patients versus 3 (2%) in usual care (P<0.001). Despite this, there were no differences between groups in left ventricular mass index, 24-hour ambulatory BP, home systolic BP, or aortic stiffness (all P>0.05). We conclude that guidance of hypertension management with central BP results in a significantly different therapeutic pathway than conventional cuff BP, with less use of medication to achieve BP control and no adverse effects on left ventricular mass, aortic stiffness, or quality of life.
- Clinical trial
- Heart ventricles