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Role of hypertension in kidney transplant recipients

Abstract

Cardiovascular events are one of the leading causes of mortality in kidney transplant recipients. Hypertension is the most common comorbidity accompanying chronic kidney disease, with prevalence remaining as high as 90% even after kidney transplantation. It is often poorly controlled. Abnormal blood pressure profiles, such as masked or white-coat hypertension, are also extremely common in these patients. The pathophysiology of blood pressure elevation in kidney transplant recipients is complex and includes transplantation-specific risk factors, which are added to the traditional or chronic kidney disease-related factors. Despite these observations, hypertension management has been an under-researched area in kidney transplantation. Thus, relevant evidence derives either from studies in the general population or from small trials in kidney transplant recipients. Based on the relevant guidelines in the general population, lifestyle modifications should probably be applied as the first step of hypertension management in kidney transplant recipients. The optimal pharmacological management of hypertension in kidney transplant recipients is also not clear. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers are commonly used as first line agents because of their lack of adverse effects on the kidney, while other antihypertensive drug classes are under-utilised due to fear of the possible haemodynamic consequences on renal function. This review summarizes the existing data on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, prognostic significance and management of hypertension in kidney transplantation.

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Fig. 1: Percutaneous endovascular management of transplant renal artery stenosis.
Fig. 2: Ultrasound appearances of normal and obstructed transplanted kidneys and angiographic treatment of transplant renal artery stenosis.

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Loutradis, C., Sarafidis, P., Marinaki, S. et al. Role of hypertension in kidney transplant recipients. J Hum Hypertens (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41371-021-00540-5

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