Hypertension in hemodialysis patients treated with atenolol or lisinopril: a randomized controlled trial

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014 Mar;29(3):672-81. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft515. Epub 2014 Jan 6.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine among maintenance hemodialysis patients with echocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension whether in comparison with a β-blocker-based antihypertensive therapy, an angiotensin converting enzyme-inhibitor-based antihypertensive therapy causes a greater regression of left ventricular hypertrophy.

Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to either open-label lisinopril (n = 100) or atenolol (n = 100) each administered three times per week after dialysis. Monthly monitored home blood pressure (BP) was controlled to <140/90 mmHg with medications, dry weight adjustment and sodium restriction. The primary outcome was the change in left ventricular mass index (LVMI) from baseline to 12 months.

Results: At baseline, 44-h ambulatory BP was similar in the atenolol (151.5/87.1 mmHg) and lisinopril groups, and improved similarly over time in both groups. However, monthly measured home BP was consistently higher in the lisinopril group despite the need for both a greater number of antihypertensive agents and a greater reduction in dry weight. An independent data safety monitoring board recommended termination because of cardiovascular safety. Serious cardiovascular events in the atenolol group occurred in 16 subjects, who had 20 events, and in the lisinopril group in 28 subjects, who had 43 events {incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.36 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.36-4.23, P = 0.001]}. Combined serious adverse events of myocardial infarction, stroke and hospitalization for heart failure or cardiovascular death in the atenolol group occurred in 10 subjects, who had 11 events and in the lisinopril group in 17 subjects, who had 23 events (IRR 2.29, P = 0.021). Hospitalizations for heart failure were worse in the lisinopril group (IRR 3.13, P = 0.021). All-cause hospitalizations were higher in the lisinopril group [IRR 1.61 (95% CI 1.18-2.19, P = 0.002)]. LVMI improved with time; no difference between drugs was noted.

Conclusions: Among maintenance dialysis patients with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy, atenolol-based antihypertensive therapy may be superior to lisinopril-based therapy in preventing cardiovascular morbidity and all-cause hospitalizations. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT00582114).

Keywords: hemodialysis; hypertension; randomized trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atenolol / adverse effects
  • Atenolol / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Early Termination of Clinical Trials
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / drug therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Lisinopril / adverse effects
  • Lisinopril / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / chemically induced
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Treatment Failure


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Atenolol
  • Lisinopril

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00582114