Ambulatory 24-hour blood pressure monitoring: correlation between blood pressure variability and left ventricular hypertrophy in untreated hypertensive patients

M Feola, G M Boffano, M Procopio, S Reynaud, P Allemano, G Rizzi
Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia 1998, 28 (1): 38-44

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) appears to be poorly correlated with clinical measurements of blood pressure: a better correlation may be observed with data from 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). The aim of this study was to compare the results of non-invasive ABPM in a population of patients with essential hypertension who had never been treated, subdividing them based on the presence or absence of LVH in the transthoracic echocardiogram (LVMI, left ventricular mass index > 135 g/m2 in males and > 110 g/m2 in females).

METHODS: Eighty hypertensive patients with mild or moderate hypertension underwent routine blood tests, a 24 h ABPM and a transthoracic echocardiogram. Based on the ABPMs, we analyzed average 24 h systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), average daytime (6 a.m.-10 p.m.) and nighttime (10 p.m.-6 a.m.) systolic and diastolic BP, average morning (6-12 a.m.) BP and the number of dipper or non-dipper patients. The echocardiographic study included the calculation of left ventricular mass using Devereux's formula according to the Penn convention, analysis of the patterns of left ventricular geometry and a study of left ventricular diastolic function.

RESULTS: Thirty-five (43.7%) patients had LVH at the echocardiographic study. In 52 subjects, the clinical history showed at least one BP measurement > 140/90 mmHg in the year prior to our observation. The average age was 48 +/- 11, without any significant correlation to LVMI (r = 0.13). The magnitude of the S-wave in V1 and the R-wave in V5 and the magnitude of the tallest R-wave and S-wave in the electrocardiogram analysis had a significant correlation with LVMI (r = 0.23 and r = 0.26, respectively). The echocardiogram revealed a normal left ventricular geometry in 43.8% of hypertensive patients, concentric remodeling in 13.8%, concentric hypertrophy in 16.2% and eccentric hypertrophy in 26.2%. The isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT) and A-wave were significantly correlated with LVMI (r = 0.49 and r = 0.33, respectively). LVMI had a significant correlation with systolic BP at ABPM (24 h systolic BP r = 0.34; daytime systolic BP r = 0.35; nighttime systolic BP r = 0.28; 6-12 systolic BP r = 0.29) but not with diastolic BP. Dipper patients represented 76.3% of the population, without any difference in LVMI between dippers and non-dippers (p = 0.09). Dipper patients had a higher prevalence of normal left ventricles as compared with non-dippers (p < 0.0001). White-coat hypertension was observed in 7.5% of hypertensive patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of LVH in our population was high (43.7%) and some parameters related to diastolic left ventricular function (IVRT, A-wave) were correlated with LVMI. Systolic ambulatory BP was significantly correlated with LVMI, while diastolic BP was not.

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