Comparative efficacy and safety of oral antihypertensive agents in pregnant women with chronic hypertension: a network metaanalysis.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 10; 223(4):525-537.AJ
Chronic hypertension is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes, although the optimal treatment is unclear. The aim of this network metaanalysis was to simultaneously compare the efficacy and safety of antihypertensive agents in pregnant women with chronic hypertension.
Medline, Scopus, CENTRAL, Web of Science, Clinicaltrials.gov, and Google Scholar databases were searched systematically from inception to December 15, 2019. Both randomized controlled trials and cohort studies were held eligible if they reported the effects of antihypertensive agents on perinatal outcomes among women with chronic hypertension.
STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS
The primary outcomes were preeclampsia and small-for-gestational-age risk. A frequentist network metaanalytic random-effects model was fitted. The main analysis was based on randomized controlled trials. The credibility of evidence was assessed by taking into account within-study bias, across-studies bias, indirectness, imprecision, heterogeneity, and incoherence.
Twenty-two studies (14 randomized controlled trials and 8 cohorts) were included, comprising 4464 women. Pooling of randomized controlled trials indicated that no agent significantly affected the incidence of preeclampsia. Atenolol was associated with significantly higher risk of small-for-gestational age compared with placebo (odds ratio, 26.00; 95% confidence interval, 2.61-259.29) and is ranked as the worst treatment (P-score=.98). The incidence of severe hypertension was significantly lower when nifedipine (odds ratio, 0.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.55), methyldopa (odds ratio, 0.31; 95% confidence interval, 0.17-0.56), ketanserin (odds ratio, 0.29; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.90), and pindolol (odds ratio, 0.17; 95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.55) were administered compared with no drug intake. The highest probability scores were calculated for furosemide (P-score=.86), amlodipine (P-score=.82), and placebo (P-score=.82). The use of nifedipine and methyldopa were associated with significantly lower placental abruption rates (odds ratio, 0.29 [95% confidence interval, 0.15-0.58] and 0.23 [95% confidence interval, 0.11-0.46], respectively). No significant differences were estimated for cesarean delivery, perinatal death, preterm birth, and gestational age at delivery.
Atenolol was associated with a significantly increased risk for small-for-gestational-age infants. The incidence of severe hypertension was significantly lower when nifedipine and methyldopa were administered, although preeclampsia risk was similar among antihypertensive agents. Future large-scale trials should provide guidance about the choice of antihypertensive treatment and the goal blood pressure during pregnancy.