Study objective: We assess the safety and efficacy of intravenous clevidipine for treating patients with acute severe increase in blood pressure by using prespecified, non-weight-based titration dosing, with continuous maintenance infusion for 18 hours or longer.
Methods: Prospective, open-label, single-arm evaluation of patients aged 18 years or older and presenting in the emergency department or ICU with severe hypertension (systolic blood pressure >180 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure >115 mm Hg) and treated with clevidipine to achieve a predetermined, patient-specific systolic blood pressure target range. Clevidipine was initiated at 2 mg per hour and titrated as needed in doubling increments every 3 minutes to a maximum of 32 mg per hour, during 30 minutes, and then continued for a total duration of 18 to 96 hours.
Results: Study patients commonly presented with both acute hypertension and end-organ injury; 81% (102/126) had demonstrable end-organ injury at baseline. Within 30 minutes of starting clevidipine, 88.9% (104/117) of patients achieved target range. Median time to target range was 10.9 minutes. No concomitant intravenous antihypertensives were needed in 92.3% (108/117) of patients receiving 18 hours or more of clevidipine infusion. Clevidipine was well tolerated with successful transition to oral antihypertensive therapy after infusion to a defined blood pressure target in 91.3% (115/126) of patients.
Conclusion: Clevidipine, dosed in a non-weight-based manner, was safe and effective in a cohort of patients with severe hypertension at a starting dose of 2 mg per hour, followed by simple titration during 18 hours or more of continuous infusion. Patients were effectively managed via simple blood pressure cuff monitoring throughout.