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Torsemide for Prevention of Persistent Postpartum Hypertension in Women With Preeclampsia

A Randomized Controlled Trial

Viteri, Oscar A., MD; Alrais, Mesk A., MD; Pedroza, Claudia, PhD; Hutchinson, Maria, MS; Chauhan, Suneet P., MD; Blackwell, Sean C., MD; Sibai, Baha M., MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002941
Contents: Hypertensive Diseases of Pregnancy: Original Research
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether torsemide reduces the rate of persistent postpartum hypertension in women with preeclampsia.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of women with preeclampsia at a tertiary center from August 2016 to September 2017. Those with gestational hypertension or renal or cardiopulmonary failure were excluded. Within 24 hours of delivery, women were randomized one to one to oral torsemide, 20 mg/d, or placebo, for 5 days. Our primary outcome was blood pressure greater than or equal to 150 mm Hg systolic or 100 mm Hg diastolic (or both) on two occasions at least 4 hours apart by postpartum day 5 or by the time of hospital discharge. Assuming a 50% rate of persistent hypertension in women with preeclampsia, 118 participants were required to detect a 50% rate reduction. Analyses were by intention to treat.

RESULTS: From August 2016 to September 2017, 118 women were randomized: 59 were allocated to torsemide and 59 to placebo. Overall, 43 (73%) women in the torsemide and 45 (76%) in the placebo group had either preeclampsia with severe features or preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension. The rate of persistent postpartum hypertension was 44% in the torsemide and 58% in the placebo group (relative risk 0.76, 95% CI 0.5–1.1). No differences were seen in rate of hypertension 7–10 days or 6 weeks postpartum, severe hypertension, length of postpartum hospital stay, readmission for hypertension, or adverse events. There were no cases of severe composite morbidity or deaths.

CONCLUSION: In this trial of women with preeclampsia, a 5-day course of postpartum torsemide did not have a significant effect on the rate of postpartum hypertension.


In women with preeclampsia, torsemide did not reduce the rate of persistent postpartum hypertension in the 5 days after delivery.

Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and the Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas.

Corresponding author: Oscar A. Viteri, MD, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health), 6431 Fannin Street, Suite 3.264, Houston, TX 77030; email:

Supported in part by the Larry C. Gilstrap M.D. Center for Perinatal Research and Women's Health.

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

Presented at the at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s 38th annual meeting, January 29–February 3, 2018, Dallas, Texas.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for authorship.

Peer review history is available at

Received June 04, 2018

Received in revised form August 02, 2018

Accepted August 09, 2018

© 2018 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.