Objectives. Vascular remodelling and hypertrophy represent early therapeutic targets of antihypertensive treatment. The present study was aimed at assessing the effects of 1-year administration of the highly vasoselective calcium-channel blocker lercanidipine (10 mg/day) or the diuretic compound hydrochlorothiazide (25 mg/day) on hypertension-related vascular alterations. The study was also aimed at assessing whether and to what extent: (i) pharmacological regression of vascular hypertrophy is related only to the blood pressure (BP) reduction "per se" or also to the specific ancillary properties of a given drug and (ii) treatment provides restoration of vascular function indicative of normal vascular structure. Design and Methods. In 26 untreated patients with mild-to-moderate essential hypertension sphygmomanometric and finger BP, heart rate, forearm and calf blood flow (venous occlusion plethysmography) and corresponding vascular resistance (forearm and calf vascular resistance: FVR and CVR) were assessed before and following 6 and 12 months of either lercanidipine or hydrochlorothiazide administration. Vascular resistance was also evaluated following a local ischaemic stimulus (FVRmin and CVRmin) in order to assess the effects of treatment on arteriolar structural alterations. Results. For superimposable BP reductions, lercanidipine caused FVR and CVR to decrease significantly more than hydrochlorothiazide. Similarly, the FVRmin and CVRmin reductions induced by lercanidipine were markedly and significantly greater than those caused by hydrochlorothiazide (-46.1% and -40.9% vs -22.5% and -19.9%, pmin and CVRmin, however, remained higher than those found in 10 age-matched normotensive individuals. Conclusions. These data provide evidence that, compared tohydrochlorothiazide, lercanidipine favours a greater regression of the vascular structural changes associated with hypertension, probably through its "ancillary" properties. Lercanidipine, however, does not allow restoration of a "normal" vascular structure, thereby suggesting that vascular hypertrophy is only in part a reversible phenomenon.
- Calcium-channel blockers
- Vascular hypertrophy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine