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Nefrología (Madrid)

versión impresa ISSN 0211-6995


ORTE MARTINEZ, L.M.. Arterial hypertension at a crossroads: the search for an operative definition. Nefrología (Madr.) [online]. 2010, vol.30, n.4, pp.394-402. ISSN 0211-6995.

Hypertension (HT) is recognized as one of the major risk factors for vascular damage. Although current guidelines recommend an aggressive drug treatment with blood pressure control goals ever lower, the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension is still apparently high. It is often forgotten that BP is a very labile hemodynamic parameter, which requires a correct methodology measurement that meets only rarely, leading to a misdiagnosis and wrong hypertensive monitoring. Even being an arbitrary limit the definition of HT has been set at 140/90 mmHg, based on casual BP taken in the office. This register itself can provide useful information beyond systolic and diastolic values, and with a certain hemodynamic meaning (pulse pressure and mean blood pressure). For a proper diagnosis of hypertensive patients is essential to enhance measure BP in any area with an strict methodology, and to incorporate into clinical practice new techniques such as 24 hours MAPA and AMPA at home, which still require definition of specific reference objectives. The application of these techniques has led to the emergence of several subgroups of hypertensive patients, such as white-coat hypertension and masked hypertension, which have their peculiarities in relation to the therapeutic management and prognosis. These techniques, together with the publication of new clinical trials using criteria of evidence, have led to the review of the Guidelines for the management of hypertension by modifying the limits of BP for some special clinical situations, and changing the paradigm of the lowest BP is the best, by that of: as early and more associated vascular risk factors were controlled it´s better.

Palabras clave : Arterial hypertension; Definition; Office blood pressure; ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

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