Nifedipine versus expectant management in mild to moderate hypertension in pregnancy

F. Parazzini, C. Benedetto, R. Bortolus, E. Ricci, L. Marozio, V. Donvito, C. Tibaldi, S. Alberico, G. Remuzzi, M. Massobrio, S. Restelli, M. Giarola

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Objective - To compare the effect of routine treatment with the calcium channel blocker nifedipine in mild to moderate hypertension in pregnancy. Design - Randomised clinical trial. Setting - General and University hospitals. Participants - Pregnant women, between 12 and 34 weeks of gestation, with chronic, pregnancy-induced or unclassifiable hypertension and diastolic pressure between 90 and 110 mmHg. Methods - Eligible women were randomly assigned treatment with slow-release nifedipine, 10 mg twice daily until delivery, or no treatment. In the no treatment group nifedipine was given if the diastolic pressure exceeded 110 mmHg. A total of 145 women were assigned nifedipine and 138 no treatment. Results - In the nifedipine group 45.0% of women were delivered before term, compared with 37.0% in the no treatment group; the difference was not significant. In all, 56.3% of women allocated nifedipine and 62.1% allocated no treatment underwent caesarean section; the difference was not statistically different (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1). There was no significant difference between the two groups in the percentage of babies weighing less than the 10th centile (OR 0.8; 95% CI 0.4-1.4) or in the mean birthweight. The frequency of admission of infants to the neonatal intensive care unit was not affected by treatment. Conclusions - This trial found no benefit on pregnancy outcome of routine treatment with nifedipine. In clinical practice, the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy may be delayed until the hypertension becomes severe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-722
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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