Ambulatory blood pressure and adherence monitoring: diagnosing pseudoresistant hypertension

Semin Nephrol. 2014;34(5):498-505. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2014.08.003.


A small proportion of the treated hypertensive population consistently has a blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg despite a triple therapy including a diuretic, a calcium channel blocker, and a blocker of the renin-angiotensin system. According to guidelines, these patients have so-called resistant hypertension. The prevalence of this clinical condition is higher in tertiary than primary care centers and often is associated with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea syndrome. Exclusion of pseudoresistant hypertension using ambulatory or home blood pressure monitoring is a crucial step in the investigation of patients with resistant hypertension. Thus, among the multiple factors to consider when investigating patients with resistant hypertension, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring should be performed very early. Among other factors to consider, physicians should investigate patient adherence to therapy, assess the adequacy of treatment, exclude interfering factors, and, finally, look for secondary forms of hypertension. Poor adherence to therapy accounts for 30% to 50% of cases of resistance to therapy depending on the methodology used to diagnose adherence problems. This review discusses the clinical factors implicated in the pathogenesis of resistant hypertension with a particular emphasis on pseudoresistance, drug adherence, and the use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for the diagnosis and management of resistant hypertension.

Keywords: Hypertension therapy; drug adherence; pseudohypertension; renal denervation; secondary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Coronary Vasospasm / diagnosis
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Medication Adherence*


  • Diuretics
  • Hypoglycemic Agents

Supplementary concepts

  • Hypertension Resistant to Conventional Therapy