Objective Determine the definitive position of ketanserin and dihydralazine for treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy. Study design A single centre double blind randomized controlled trial was performed at the obstetrical tertiary high care unit of the University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Women with severe hypertension in pregnancy (diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 110 mmHg), and significant proteinuria (≥300 mg/24 h), and gestational age ≤ 32 weeks were eligible for the study. All patients (n = 30) received two infusions (double dummy technique): one contained the active ingredient (ketanserin or dihydralazine), the other was used for placebo. Nicardipine was used as rescue medication. The main outcome measures were persistent severe hypertension (DBP > 100 mmHg > 120 min) despite maximum dosage of study medication and prolongation of pregnancy. Results Dihydralazine was significantly more effective in lowering blood pressure than ketanserin. No significant difference in prolongation of pregnancy was seen between the two groups. After 30 inclusions, the study was stopped because of the high rate of persistent hypertension using ketanserin and the high rate of maternal side effects using dihydralazine and the apparent succesful use of the rescue drug nicardipine. Conclusions Our results do not support the use of either dihydralazine or ketanserin for the treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy. Future research is needed to compare nicardipine with other antihypertensive drugs currently in use for treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy.

Dihydralazine, Ketanserin, Nicardipine, Pregnancy, Severe hypertension
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2015.02.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/86079
European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Bijvank, S.W.A.N, Visser, W, Duvekot, J.J, Steegers, E.A.P, Edens, M.A, Roofthooft, D.W.E, … Hanff, L.M. (2015). Ketanserin versus dihydralazine for the treatment of severe hypertension in early-onset preeclampsia: A double blind randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 189, 106–111. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2015.02.002