JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The reproducibility of the circadian BP rhythm in treated hypertensive patients with polycystic kidney disease and mild chronic renal impairment--a prospective ABPM study.

Journal of Nephrology 2002 September
BACKGROUND: Diurnal BP rhythm is known to be abnormal (reduced BP fall with sleep) in chronic renal failure, dialysis and renal transplantation patients. In subjects with primary hypertension and with reduced diurnal BP fall with sleep there is consistent evidence of increased target-organ damage. However, the few studies that have addressed the reproducibility of diurnal rhythm in normal or hypertensive subjects have concluded that the BP fall with sleep is poorly reproducible. It is not known whether the same is true for patients with renal disease.

METHODS: In 30 subjects with autosomal polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), mild chronic renal failure and normal office BP levels on standardised anti-hypertensive treatment, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) was done three times over a twelve month period to assess the reproducibility of blood pressure fall with sleep.

RESULTS: When comparing ABPM 2 with the ABPM 1 recording (3 months difference between measurements) only 43.3% of the patients maintained the initial dipping category (defined by quartiles of the ABPM 1 diurnal BP distribution). The same proportion of subjects had a similar dipping category, when ABPM 3 was compared to ABPM 1 (9 months difference between measurements), but a large (24%) subset of patients had dramatic shifts in their amplitude in nocturnal BP fall, significantly greater than those recorded after a shorter inter-measurement interval. Equally important, our study reveals the fact that, with time, there is no tendency to decrease circadian variation: a similar proportion (a quarter to one third) of patients increased or decreased their amplitude in nocturnal BP fall, at 3 and 9 months. When several ABPM measurements are repeated for the same patients, the repeatability is even worse, since only 36.6% of our study population maintained the initial dipping category across all three ABPM determinations (ABPM 1 and ABPM 2 and ABPM 3).

CONCLUSIONS: There is a widespread abnormality in diurnal BP rhythm in ADPKD patients with renal impairment, but the extent of this abnormality varies considerably over time. It is too simplistic to assume that, having arbitrarily categorised subjects into "dippers" or "non-dippers", these labels will always be valid. Thus, it would be unwise to extrapolate the impact of a single baseline circadian BP profile on organ target end points.

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