The contribution of the ACCOMPLISH trial to the treatment of stage 2 hypertension


The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) recommended a thiazide-like diuretic, alone or in combination with other antihypertensive drug classes, as initial therapy for hypertension. JNC 7, however, did not specify preferred combinations. The Avoiding Cardiovascular Events through Combination Therapy in Patients Living with Systolic Hypertension (ACCOMPLISH) trial was completed five years after the JNC 7 and demonstrated a 20% advantage in cardiovascular risk reduction when blood pressure was lowered using the single-pill combination of benazepril-amlodipine compared to benazepril-hydrochlorothiazide (Jamerson et al. 359(23):2417-28 [1]). This new and significant finding provided compelling evidence that the long-standing preference for diuretics as initial therapy could be refuted, but it may also be relevant to the lower-than-expected reduction in coronary disease related events (compared to stroke) observed for decades prior to the ACCOMPLISH approach to therapy. The JNC 8 panel members recently published their recommendations, and while the group did not recommend benazepril-hydrochlorothiazide over other combinations, they did highlight the findings of ACCOMPLISH, rating the primary ACCOMPLISH paper as “good.” The American Society of Hypertension position paper and the European Hypertension Society guidelines endorse such combinations as a first-line agent for patients with stage 2 hypertension. We review the current position of ACCOMPLISH in the guidelines regarding treatment of stage 2 hypertension.

Current Hypertension Reports, 16(3)