Progressive hypertrophy regression with sustained pressure reduction in hypertension: the Losartan Intervention For Endpoint Reduction study

Richard B Devereux, Vittorio Palmieri, Jennifer E Liu, Kristian Wachtell, Jonathan N Bella, Kurt Boman, Eva Gerdts, Markku S Nieminen, Vasilios Papademetriou, Björn Dahlöf
Journal of Hypertension 2002, 20 (7): 1445-50

OBJECTIVE: To examine the time course of left ventricular (LV) geometric response to blood pressure (BP) control during 2 years of systematic antihypertensive treatment.

DESIGN: A total of 754 hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) by Cornell voltage-duration product or Sokolow-Lyon voltage criteria on a screening electrocardiogram had their LV mass measured by echocardiogram at enrolment in the Losartan Intervention For Endpoint Reduction (LIFE) trial, and after 12 and 24 months of blinded therapy with losartan-based or atenolol-based regimens.

SETTING: The LIFE trial, in which hypertensive patients with electrocardiographic LVH (Cornell voltage-duration product > 2440 mm x ms and/or Sokolow-Lyon voltage criteria SV1 + RV5-6 > 38 mm) were randomized to >or= 4 years double-blinded treatment with losartan or atenolol.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 754 LIFE participants with serial echocardiographic measurements of LV geometry.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: LV wall thicknesses, diameter and mass, and its indices.

RESULTS: Mean systolic/diastolic BP fell from 173/95 to 150/84 mmHg after 1 year (P < 0.001) and to 148/83 mmHg at year 2 (P = not significant). Mean echocardiographic LV mass fell from 233 g at baseline to 206 g after 1 year (P < 0.001, adjusted for change in systolic BP) and to 195 g at year 2 (P < 0.001 versus year 1), with a parallel decrease in indexed LV mass [from 56.1 to 49.7 g/m2.7 (P < 0.001), to 47.1 g/m2.7 (P < 0.001 versus year 1)]. Relative wall thickness decreased from 0.41 at baseline to 0.37 at year 1 (P < 0.001), to 0.36 at year 2 (P < 0.001 versus year 1). As a result, there were serial decreases in prevalences of eccentric LVH [44 to 38%, and to 30% (P < 0.001 versus year 1)] and concentric LVH [24 to 7% (P < 0.001), to 2% (P < 0.05 versus year 1)], and increases in the proportion with normal LV geometry [22 to 50% (P < 0.001), and to 64% (P < 0.01 versus year 1)].

CONCLUSIONS: Sustained BP reduction in hypertensive patients with target organ damage causes continued decrease in echocardiographic LV mass and prevalence of anatomic LVH for at least 2 years despite only small BP decreases after the first year of blinded therapy. These data document cardiac benefit of sustained BP control and suggest that maximum LVH regression with effective antihypertensive treatment requires at least 2 years.

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