Adverse influence of bisoprolol on central blood pressure in the upright position: a double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over study

J Hum Hypertens. 2020 Apr;34(4):301-310. doi: 10.1038/s41371-019-0188-9. Epub 2019 Mar 18.


Treatment with beta-blockers is characterized by inferior reduction of central versus peripheral blood pressure. We examined changes in blood pressure, cardiac function, and vascular resistance after 3 weeks of bisoprolol treatment (5 mg/day) during passive head-up tilt in 16 never-treated Caucasian males with grade I-II primary hypertension. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over design was applied, and hemodynamics were recorded using continuous tonometric pulse wave analysis and whole-body impedance cardiography. Bisoprolol decreased blood pressure in the aorta (~8/10 mmHg, p ≤ 0.032) and radial artery (~10/9 mmHg, p ≤ 0.037), but upright aortic systolic blood pressure was not significantly reduced (p = 0.085). Bisoprolol reduced heart rate and left cardiac work, and increased subendocardial viability index in supine and upright positions (p ≤ 0.044 for all). Bisoprolol increased stroke volume in the supine (~11 ml, p = 0.02) but not in the upright position, while only upright (~1 l/min, p = 0.007) but not supine cardiac output was reduced. Upright elevation in systemic vascular resistance was increased 2.7-fold (p = 0.002), while upright pulse pressure amplification was decreased by ~20% (p = 0.002) after bisoprolol. Aortic augmentation index, augmentation pressure, and pulse pressure were not changed in the supine position but were increased in the upright position (from 9% to 17%, 3-6 mmHg, and 30-34 mmHg, respectively, p ≤ 0.016 for all). In conclusion, although bisoprolol treatment reduced peripheral blood pressure, central systolic blood pressure in the upright position was not decreased. Importantly, the harmful influences of bisoprolol on central pulse pressure and pressure wave reflection were manifested in the upright position.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bisoprolol*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiography, Impedance*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Heart Rate
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vascular Resistance


  • Bisoprolol