Do losartan and atenolol have differential effects on BNP and central haemodynamic parameters?

Justine Davies*, Elaine Carr, Margaret Band, Andrew Morris, Allan Struthers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. It has been suggested that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) have a differential effect on brachial and aortic haemodynamics. This is why they seem to have beneficial effects that are beyond brachial blood pressure (BP) lowering. We aimed to investigate if this was the case with losartan when compared to atenolol. We also investigated the differential effect of losartan and atenolol on the prognostic marker, brain type natriuretic peptide (BNP). Methods. We studied 17 patients who were similar to those in the Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension (LIFE) study. Patients were randomised to receive four months of losartan and atenolol in a crossover fashion. Main outcome measures were BNP and Augmentation index (AIx), which gives an indication of central haemodynamics. Brachial pulse wave velocity (PWV) and time to reflected wave (Tr) were measured as an indication of vascular stiffness. Results. BNP was significantly lower on losartan than atenolol (P=0.007). AIx was lower on losartan than atenolol (p=0.03), however, this result was not significant when heart rate was considered as a covariate (P=0.09). Heart rate was significantly lower on atenolol than losartan (p=0.03). There was no difference between treatments for both brachial PWV and Tr (P=0.2 and P=0.99, respectively). Conclusion. The benefits seen when losartan was compared to atenolol in the LIFE trial may be due to a reduction in BNP. We failed to detect a differential effect in central compared to peripheral haemodynamics when losartan was compared to atenolol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-153
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone system
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • Atenolol
  • Augmentation
  • Blood pressure
  • Losartan


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