Comparison of two calcium blockers on hemodynamics, left ventricular mass, and coronary vasodilatory in advanced hypertension

Joseph A. Diamond, Lawrence R. Krakoff, Adam Goldman, Neil Coplan, Ali Gharavi, Kevin Martin, Rochelle Goldsmith, Milena J. Henzlova, Joseph Machac, Robert A. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Dihydropyridine and nondihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (CCB) differ in pharmacologic characteristics, Few clinical studies distinguish effects of CCB as monotherapy. We conducted a comprehensive comparison of two CCB on patients with moderate to severe hypertension. Thirty patients with pretreatment diastolic blood pressures ≥100 mm Hg were randomly assigned to either nifedipine-GITS or verapamil-SR. Dose titration achieved a diastolic blood pressure of ≤95 mm Hg or a decrease of ≥15 mm Hg over 4 weeks. Clinic blood pressure (BP), 24-h ambulatory BP, exercise BP, left ventricular mass, systolic and diastolic function by echocardiography, and coronary flow reserve by split-dose thallium-201 imaging with adenosine were assessed at baseline, end of titration, 3 months and 6 months of treatment. Plasma renin activity, atrial natriuretic peptide, norepinephrine, and epinephrine were assayed. Both drugs caused similar reductions in clinic and 24-h ambulatory BP and similar reductions in left ventricular mass index. Compared to nifedipine-GITS, verapamil-SR produced a significantly lower resting and peak exercise heart rate. Nifedipine-GITS elicited a lower peak exercise systolic BP. At end titration nifedipine-GITS produced lower plasma atrial natriuretic peptide levels, no longer apparent by 6 months. Plasma norepinephrine was lower with verapamil-SR, also at end titration and at 3 months, but not at 6 months. Plasma epinephrine and plasma renin activity were unchanged by either drug. There was no difference for systolic or diastolic left ventricular function or coronary flow reserve between the two treatments. Once daily nifedipine-GITS and verapamil-SR are equally effective for reduction of arterial pressure in moderate to severe hypertension. Differences in their hemodynamic profiles and neurohormonal responses are consistent with preclinical pharmacologic characteristics. The clinical implications of their similarities and differences remain to be fully evaluated in outcome studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Calcium channel antagonists
  • Coronary microcirculation
  • Hypertension
  • Hypertrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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