Objectives: Hypertension is a risk factor for renal function loss in kidney transplant patients but there are still no longitudinal studies focusing on the relationship between ambulatory blood pressure (BP) monitoring (ABPM) and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) evolution over time in these patients.
Methods: In a cohort of 260 renal transplant patients, we investigated the longitudinal relationship between repeated office BP measurements and simultaneous GFR measurements (on average 35 paired measurements per patient) and the relationship between baseline ABPM with the same outcome measure (by linear mixed models). Furthermore, we tested the prediction power of baseline ABPM and standardized BP measurements for a combined renal end point (GFR loss >30%, end-stage kidney disease or death) over a 3.7 years follow-up.
Results: Longitudinal office BP measurements were inversely related with simultaneous GFR measurements and the same was true both for baseline daytime and night-time BP. (all P < 0.001). Baseline 24-h ABPM [hazard ratio (5 mmHg):1.11; 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.19] and night-time SBP [hazard ratio (5 mmHg):1.10; 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.17] predicted the combined renal end point and the predictive model based on night-time SBP provided a data-fit superior than that by daytime SBP.
Conclusion: In renal transplant patients, daytime and night-time SBP predict the risk of GFR loss overtime, and among the various BP metrics, night-time BP is the strongest indicator of the risk of renal function loss. Optimization of BP control and interventions targeting night-time BP may afford renal benefits in transplant patients, a hypothesis that remains to be tested in a clinical trial.