Radio-telemetry systems offer the ability to measure blood pressure and heart rate in experimental models of hypertension without the stress artifacts induced by some other methods. We therefore aimed to develop improved, nonparametric regression methods for radio-telemetry data and to use these to assess the effects of pharmacological interventions on cardiac and vascular hypertrophy in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat. One control group and 5 groups treated either with losartan (alone or in combination with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester [ L-NAME]), perindopril (also alone or in combination with L-NAME), or hydralazine plus hydrochlorothiazide were monitored for 4 weeks. Cardiac hypertrophy was assessed by the left ventricle plus septum weight to body weight ratio and vascular hypertrophy by flow-cytometry analysis of vascular smooth muscle cell polyploidy. Hemodynamic series were split into trend and cyclic components by the seasonal and trend decomposition procedure based on Loess and compared between groups by Loess regression modeling. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were reduced systematically by losartan and perindopril (P<10(-10)) but to a lesser extent by hydralazine plus hydrochlorothiazide (P<10(-8)), and diurnal variation was reduced in the latter group (P<10(-6)). L-NAME significantly reduced the hypotensive effect only of losartan. Vascular and cardiac hypertrophy were significantly attenuated with losartan or perindopril, but were unchanged with other treatments. The new analysis proposed here identifies differential effects on trends and cyclic variation and associations with regression of end-organ damage for losartan and perindopril compared with hydralazine plus hydrochlorothiazide. The method offers a powerful tool for detailed investigation of radio-telemetry data.