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OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness and safety of diltiazem or lisinopril for treatment of hypertension after heart transplantation. BACKGROUND: Systemic hypertension is common after heart transplantation, and to date there are no randomized, prospective multicenter treatment trials. METHODS: Members of the Cardiac Transplant Research Database Group developed and implemented a prospective, randomized multicenter trial of the effectiveness and safety of diltiazem or lisinopril in the treatment of hypertension in cyclosporine-treated patients after heart transplantation. RESULTS: One hundred sixteen patients with hypertension (blood pressure > or = 140/90 mm Hg) after heart transplantation were randomized for > or = 3 months of treatment. Of 55 diltiazem-treated patients, 21 (38%) were responders (diastolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg), 23 (42%) were nonresponders (diastolic blood pressure > or = 90 mm Hg), and 11 (20%) were withdrawn from the study. Of 61 lisinopril-treated patients, 28 (46%) were responders, 22 (36%) were nonresponders, and 11 (18%) were withdrawn. There was no difference in baseline characteristics or percent responders between the two groups. Systolic pressure decreased from 157 +/- 2.3 to 130 +/- 2.0 mm Hg (mean +/- 1 SEM) in the diltiazem-treated responders and from 153 +/- 2.1 to 127 +/- 2.7 mm Hg in the lisinopril-treated responders (p < 0.0001). Diastolic pressure decreased from 100 +/- 0.9 to 85 +/- 1.6 mm Hg in the diltiazem-treated responders and from 100 +/- 1.0 to 84 +/- 2.0 mm Hg in the lisinopril-treated responders (p < 0.0001). There were a total of 35 reported adverse events, 22 of which led to withdrawal of the patient from the study. All drug-related side effects were considered minor and resolved with discontinuation of the drug. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that both diltiazem and lisinopril are safe for treatment of hypertension after heart transplantation, although titrated monotherapy with either drug controlled the condition in < 50% of patients.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Coll Cardiol

Publication Date





1707 - 1712


Aged, Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, Antihypertensive Agents, Calcium Channel Blockers, Cyclosporine, Diltiazem, Female, Heart Transplantation, Humans, Hypertension, Immunosuppressive Agents, Lisinopril, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Prospective Studies, Treatment Outcome