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Increased arterial wall stiffness in primary aldosteronism in comparison with essential hypertension

Branislav Strauch, Ondrej Petrák, Dan Wichterle, Tomás Zelinka, Robert Holaj, Jirí Widimský
American Journal of Hypertension 2006, 19 (9): 909-14
16942932

BACKGROUND: Aldosterone has been shown to substantially contribute to the accumulation of collagen fibers and growth factors in the arterial wall, which can increase wall stiffness. This study aimed at comparing arterial stiffness between patients with primary aldosteronism (PA), essential hypertension (EH), and normotensive controls using carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and central augmentation index (AI).

METHODS: Thirty-six patients with confirmed PA, 28 patients with EH, and 20 normotensive subjects were investigated by Sphygmocor applanation tonometer.

RESULTS: The office blood pressure (BP) at the time of the measurement (PA 167+/-34/92+/-12 mm Hg; EH 166+/-19/91+/-10 mm Hg), age, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, triglyceride, blood glucose levels were comparable between PA and EH groups. The patients with PA had significantly higher PWV than the EH patients and control subjects (9.8+/-2.6 m/sec v 7.5+/-1.0 m/sec v 5.9+/-0.7 m/sec, respectively; all mutual differences P<.001). The difference in PWV between PA and EH remained statistically significant also after the adjustment for all clinical variables including 24-h BP using multivariate analysis (P=.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Arterial wall stiffness is independently increased in PA compared to EH. This could be caused by the deleterious effects of aldosterone excess (potentially modulated by hypernatremia) on the fibrosis and remodeling of the arterial wall.

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