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Supine hypertension: A state of the art

      Abstract

      Patients with cardiovascular autonomic failure (AF) may suffer from neurogenic supine hypertension (nSH), defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg, after 5 min of rest in the supine position, combined with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) in approximately 50% of the cases.
      nSH may be the manifestation of central or peripheral autonomic lesions.
      Long-term risks are hypothesized with SH, including renal dysfunction, left ventricular hypertrophy, cerebrovascular disease and cognitive impairment. Yet, large longitudinal studies investigating long-term outcomes of nSH are lacking.
      In clinical practice, nSH should be investigated in patients with nOH. Office screening should be performed measuring supine BP immediately after lying down and 5 min later, combined with BP measurement on active or passive standing. Home BP recordings performed by patients themselves may also be useful, while 24 h-Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) may allow for detection of nocturnal hypertension and confirm the diagnosis.
      Current expert recommendations suggest treatment interventions if SBP exceeds 160–180 mmHg. Non-pharmacological strategies represent the first-line treatment approach and include head-up sleeping, avoiding supine position during the daytime, and having a snack before bedtime to lower supine BP using post-prandial hypotension. Pharmacological treatments may be considered if severe nSH persists. Short-acting antihypertensive medications administered at bedtime are preferably used in order to selectively lower supine BP and reduce pressure diuresis without worsening daytime hypotension.

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