This study aims to test the hypothesis that in some hypertensive subjects the blood pressure (BP) response to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition differs from that to angiotensin receptor blockade (ARB); a responder to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition may not respond to ARB or the opposite. A randomized, open-label, crossover, comparative trial of lisinopril 20 mg compared with telmisartan 80 mg (5 weeks per treatment period) was conducted in 32 untreated hypertensives using 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring. Subjects were classified as “responders” and “nonresponders” using an arbitrary threshold of ambulatory BP response (≥10 mm Hg systolic or ≥5 diastolic) or the median response achieved by each drug. No difference was detected between the drugs in their effect on ambulatory BP (mean difference 1.2±7.1/0.7±5.1 mm Hg, systolic/diastolic). Significant correlations were found between the antihypertensive responses to the two drugs (r=0.77, p<0.001). Using the arbitrary response criterion, there was a difference between the drugs in the responses in 28%/13% of subjects (9/4 patients) for systolic/diastolic BP (19%/25% using the median response criterion).

These data suggest that in some hypertensive patients the BP response to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition may fail to predict the response to ARB. It appears that there are differences in the antihypertensive action of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and ARBs that may be clinically important.