JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intravenous nicardipine for treatment of postcoarctectomy hypertension in children

T A Nakagawa, S C Sartori, A Morris, D S Schneider
Pediatric Cardiology 2004, 25 (1): 26-30
14534761
Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of intravenous (IV) nicardipine for the treatment of postcoarctectomy hypertension in children with coarctation of the aorta. We carried out a retrospective review in a pediatric intensive care unit at a tertiary care children's hospital. The patients were children with coarctation of the aorta treated for postcoarctectomy hypertension. Children with postcoarctectomy hypertension defined as a systolic blood pressure >95th percentile for age measured by indwelling arterial catheter were treated with IV nicardipine. We measured change in mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and mean heart rate (HR) from baseline after initiating treatment with IV nicardipine. The outcome measure was a reduction in MAP and mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure after treatment with IV nicardipine. During a 4-year period, 10 children met the study criteria. Median age was 3.25 months (range, 0.25 to 180 months). Initial median treatment dose of IV nicardipine was 1.0 micro g/kg/min (range, 0.5 to 6 micro g/kg/min); median dose used to control hypertension was 1.5 micro g/kg/min (range, 0.25 to 6 micro g/kg/min). Median duration of therapy was 26.3 h (range, 13 to 49 h). Treatment with IV nicardipine resulted in a 26.5% decrease in MAP from baseline during the first hour of treatment ( p = 0.0006). Mean systolic blood pressure decreased from 133 to 105 mmHg ( p = 0.005), and mean diastolic blood pressure decreased from 75 to 52.5 mmHg ( p = 0.001) during the first hour of therapy with nicardipine. There was a significant reduction ( p = 0.0005) in MAP during continued treatment with IV nicardipine. The mean HR of 150 remained unchanged during the first hour of therapy with nicardipine, and no significant change in mean HR or adverse effects was noted during continued therapy. Two children receiving other antihypertensive therapy demonstrated further reduction in their blood pressure when IV nicardipine was initiated. Tachycardia and hypotension were not observed in any child treated with IV nicardipine. We concluded that IV nicardipine reduced MAP with no significant change in mean HR and no adverse effects in patients with postcoarctectomy hypertension. Nicardipine produced a further reduction in MAP in children receiving other antihypertensive agents. Nicardipine is an effective agent for treatment of postcoarctectomy hypertension in children with coarctation of the aorta.

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