Is there a blood pressure lowering effect of MRAs in heart failure? An overview and meta-analysis

George Bazoukis, Costas Thomopoulos, Gary Tse, Costas Tsioufis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Although mineralocorticoid antagonists (MRAs) have been proposed as effective fourth-line blood pressure (BP) lowering agents in resistant hypertension, this effect in heart failure is undetermined. In this synthesis of heart failure randomized controlled trials (RCTs), we evaluated the extent of BP lowering following MRA treatment against placebo. We searched Medline and the Cochrane Collaboration Library databases from 1991 to September 2016 for RCTs, in which MRAs were compared with placebo. The quality of RCTs was assessed with Cochrane risk of bias tool. Outcomes were the extent of systolic and diastolic BP lowering. We included seven studies (13,354 patients, 65.8% males, mean age of 66.3 years, mean follow-up period of 9.4 months, mean baseline BP of 123.5/75.0 mmHg) of MRAs compared with placebo. MRAs were not significantly associated with systolic − 1.8 (95% CI: − 8.0, 4.4) mmHg or diastolic − 0.3 (95% CI: − 3.4, 2.7) mmHg, BP reduction. Although systolic BP was not lowered by spironolactone, diastolic BP was lowered by − 3.0 (95% CI: − 3.4, − 2.6) mmHg. Eplerenone treatment did not significantly lowered systolic [− 0.04 (95% CI: − 4.4, 4.3) mmHg], but it was associated with minimal diastolic BP increase [1.0 (95% CI: 0.5, 1.53) mmHg]. MRAs were not associated with systolic and diastolic BP reduction in heart failure patients. This finding suggests that MRAs should be used according to their indications in heart failure independently of initial BP levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure lowering
  • Eplerenone
  • Heart failure
  • Mineralocorticoid antagonists
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Spironolactone


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