Labetalol Versus Nifedipine as Antihypertensive Treatment for Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Louise M Webster, Jenny E Myers, Catherine Nelson-Piercy, Kate Harding, J Kennedy Cruickshank, Ingrid Watt-Coote, Asma Khalil, Cornelia Wiesender, Paul T Seed, Lucy C Chappell

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55 Citations (Scopus)
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Data from randomized controlled trials to guide antihypertensive agent choice for chronic hypertension in pregnancy are limited; this study aimed to compare labetalol and nifedipine, additionally assessing the impact of ethnicity on treatment efficacy. Pregnant women with chronic hypertension (12(+0)-27(+6) weeks' gestation) were enrolled at 4 UK centers (August 2014 to October 2015). Open-label first-line antihypertensive treatment was randomly assigned: labetalol- (200-1800 mg/d) or nifedipine-modified release (20-80 mg/d). Analysis included 112 women (98%) who completed the study (labetalol n=55, nifedipine n=57). Maximum blood pressure after randomization was 161/101 mm Hg with labetalol versus 163/105 mm Hg with nifedipine (mean difference systolic: 1.2 mm Hg [-4.9 to 7.2 mm Hg], diastolic: 3.3 mm Hg [-0.6 to 7.3 mm Hg]). Mean blood pressure was 134/84 mm Hg with labetalol and 134/85 mm Hg with nifedipine (mean difference systolic: 0.3 mm Hg [-2.8 to 3.4 mm Hg], and diastolic: -1.9 mm Hg [-4.1 to 0.3 mm Hg]). Nifedipine use was associated with a 7.4-mm Hg reduction (-14.4 to -0.4 mm Hg) in central aortic pressure, measured by pulse wave analysis. No difference in treatment effect was observed in black women (n=63), but a mean 4 mm Hg reduction (-6.6 to -0.8 mm Hg; P=0.015) in brachial diastolic blood pressure was observed with labetalol compared with nifedipine in non-black women (n=49). Labetalol and nifedipine control mean blood pressure to target in pregnant women with chronic hypertension. This study provides support for a larger definitive trial scrutinizing the benefits and side effects of first-line antihypertensive treatment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-922
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Early online date11 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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