Ad hoc blood pressure lecture

I am attending on the dialysis service in December and the residents requested a lecture on hypertension. This was a sharp group so I decided to do an update on the literature and go through four papers in the session. It went well. We had lots of great discussions and answered a lot questions.

SPRINT. We talked about the impressive results but really focused on the very selective patients population and how it was not consistent with a lot of patients we see in clinic. We also focused on how they assessed blood pressure and how different it is than standard blood pressure assessment.

The next study was HOPE-3 shows that when you apply what you know from SPRINT but use a standard blood pressure assessment and pair it to a less sick population you get a negative result.

Then we looked at PATHWAY-2 to put add some evidence to the question of how should we treat resistant hypertension.

Then we finished with "Value of low dose combination treatment with blood pressure lowering drugs: analysis of 354 randomised trials" a fascinating meta-analysis that looked at dose response curves, and side effects. Really interesting paper. H/T Ricky Turgeon PharmD. The conclusion from the data is that adding additional drug classes at lower than standard doses results in a nice blood pressure improvement with a clean side effect profile.

Other suggestions that didn't make the 40 minute cut:

Treatment of Hypertension in Patients 80 Years of Age or Older

Agree this is an important study.

Prevention of cardiovascular events with an antihypertensive regimen of amlodipine adding perindopril as required versus atenolol adding bendroflumethiazide as required, in the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial-Blood Pressure Lowering Arm (ASCOT-BPLA): a multicentre randomised controlled trial

I almost feel that a trial that has Atenolol in the control arm is practically a placebo. That drug never reduces events. I think the official tag line is "Atenolol: when all you care about is reducing the number on the dial."
Effects of Intensive Blood-Pressure Control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

This is the opposite side of the SPRNT coin. Low blood pressure appeared to be of no benefit and possibly harmful (Table 2). Nice reduction in stroke though (Figure 2). 

A Controlled Trial of Renal Denervation for Resistant Hypertension

The mother of all medical reversals. Great study. Totally upset a runaway freight train of interventions. To me this shows that industry sponsored trials (when designed with the intension of FDA approval) are not marketing shams but can add clarity to medical knowledge.