Diagnosis and treatment of arterial hypertension 2021

Kidney Int. 2022 Jan;101(1):36-46. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2021.09.026. Epub 2021 Oct 29.


In the last 4 years, several evidence-based, national, and international guidelines on the management of arterial hypertension have been published, mostly with concordant recommendations, but in some aspects with discordant opinions. This in-depth review takes these guidelines into account but also addresses several new data of interest. Although being somewhat obvious and simple, accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement with validated devices is the cornerstone of the diagnosis of hypertension, but out-of-office BP measurements are of crucial importance as well. Simplified antihypertensive drug treatment such as single-pill combinations enhances the adherence to medication and speeds up the process of getting into the BP target range, a goal not so far adequately respected. Recommended (single-pill) combination therapy includes diuretics as part of the first step of antihypertensive therapy, and updated analysis does not provide evidence to exclude diuretics from this first step because of the recently discussed potential risk of increasing cancer incidence. Target BP goals need to be individualized, according to comorbidities, hypertension-mediated organ damage, coexistence of cardiovascular risk factors (including age), frailty in older patients, and individual tolerability. There are also concordant recommendations in the guidelines that an office BP between 120 and 140 mm Hg systolic and between 70 and 80 mm Hg diastolic should be achieved. The BP target of Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes for hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease are not applicable for clinical practice because they heavily rely on 1 study that used a study-specific, nontransferable BP measurement technique and excluded the most common cause of chronic kidney disease, namely, diabetic nephropathy. Actual data even from a prospective trial on chronotherapy have to be disregarded, and antihypertensive medication should not be routinely dosed at bedtime. Rigorously conducted trials justify the revival of renal denervation for treatment of (at least, but not only) uncontrolled and treatment-resistant hypertension.

Keywords: SPRINT; ambulatory blood pressure measurement; arterial hypertension; blood pressure; guideline; renal denervation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antihypertensive Agents