Hypertension in kidney transplant recipients

Claudio Ponticelli, David Cucchiari, Giorgio Graziani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arterial hypertension is frequently observed in renal transplant recipients. Its pathogenesis is multifactorial in most cases. Calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) can increase peripheral vascular resistance by inducing arteriolar vasoconstriction and can cause extracellular fluid expansion by reducing the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), activating the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), and by inactivating the atrial natriuretic peptide. Glucocorticoids can impair urinary water and salt excretion. Poor graft function can lead to increased extracellular volume and inappropriate production of renin. Native kidneys, older age of the donor and transplant renal artery stenosis (TRAS) may also contribute to the development of hypertension. Arterial hypertension not only can increases the risk for cardiovascular events but can also deteriorate renal allograft function. A number of studies have shown that the higher the levels of blood pressure are, the higher is the risk of graft failure. On the other hand, a good control of blood pressure may prevent many cardiovascular and renal complications. Appropriate lifestyle modification is the first step for treating hypertension. Calcium channel blockers (CCB) and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors are the most frequently used antihypertensive agents, but in many cases, a combination of these and other drugs is required to obtain good control of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-533
Number of pages11
JournalTransplant International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • hypertension
  • immunosuppressive therapy
  • kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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