Background: The tenet that peritoneal dialysis is capable of either normalizing or improving blood pressure control in uraemic patients is based on outdated or monocentric experiences. Therefore, we assessed the prevalence of hypertension and the efficacy of antihypertensive therapy in a large, multicentric cohort of patients on peritoneal dialysis.
Methods: Twenty seven out of the 50 centres belonging to the Italian Co-operative Peritoneal Dialysis Study Group took part in the study. The main patient selection criteria were: peritoneal dialysis therapy for at least 3 months and no peritonitis or changes in dialysis technique for at least 1 month. Clinical blood pressure was measured according to WHO/ISH guidelines. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring was carried out using a SpaceLabs 90207 recorder. Hypertension was defined according to WHO/ISH criteria and staged according to the criteria of the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC), 5th Report. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring recordings were used to evaluate white-coat hypertension, blood pressure load and the dipping phenomenon.
Results: Five hundred and four subjects were evaluated. Hypertension was prevalent in 88.1% of the population, and 362 out of 444 hypertensive patients were on antihypertensive therapy. JNC staging revealed that 188 patients had moderate to severe hypertension. Blood pressure load was pathological in 77.3% of the patients receiving antihypertensive treatment. White-coat hypertension was identified in 9.1% of the hypertensive patients not on antihypertensive therapy, and 53.1% of the patients were non-dippers.
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that hypertension is a dramatic, unsolved problem in uraemic patients treated with peritoneal dialysis, and casts doubts on the effectiveness of our current peritoneal dialysis strategies and pharmacological management of hypertension.