Vascular hypertrophy is an early finding in essential hypertension and is related to arterial pressure waveform contour.
The effects of hypertension on the arterial vasculature were examined in a study group of 20 patients with newly diagnosed essential hypertension, 18 patients with chronic essential hypertension, and 32 control subjects with normal blood pressure. Left ventricular mass was determined echocardiographically. Carotid artery intimal-medial thickness was measured by means of B-mode ultrasound imaging, and carotid arterial waveforms were obtained by applanation tonometry. Compared with that in control subjects, carotid intimal-medial thickness was increased in patients with chronic hypertension (0.74 +/- 0.17 mm vs 0.61 +/- 0.15 mm in control subjects; p < 0.01) and in patients with newly diagnosed hypertension (0.66 +/- 0.12 mm vs 0.61 +/- 0.15 mm in control subjects; p < 0.05). Left ventricular mass was also higher in patients with chronic hypertension than in control subjects but was very similar between control subjects and those with newly diagnosed hypertension. Both the group with early hypertension and the group with chronic hypertension had an increased incidence of early waveform reflection evident on carotid arterial waveform examination. By multiple regression analysis, independent predictors of increased carotid intimal-medial thickness were age, systolic arterial pressure, and Murgo class of arterial waveform. Conduit arterial wall thickening precedes left ventricular remodeling in essential hypertension and is significantly related to the degree of pressure elevation and the arterial waveform contour.
Tice, FD; Peterson, JW; Orsinelli, DA; Binkley, PF; Cody, RJ; Guthrie, R; Pearson, AC
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