Vascular stiffness has been proposed as a simple method to assess arterial loading conditions of the heart which induce left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). There is some controversy as to whether the relationship of vascular stiffness to LVH is independent of blood pressure, and which measurement of arterial stiffness, augmentation index (AI) or pulse wave velocity (PWV) is best. Carotid pulse wave contor and pulse wave velocity of patients (n=20) with hypertension whose blood pressure (BP) was under control (<140/90 mmHg) with antihypertensive drug treatment medications, and without valvular heart disease, were measured. Left ventricular mass, calculated from 2D echocardiogram, was adjusted for body size using two different methods: body surface area and height. There was a significant (P<0.05) linear correlation between LV mass index and pulse wave velocity. This was not explained by BP level or lower LV mass in women, as there was no significant difference in PWV according to gender (1140.1+67.8 vs 1110.6+57.7 cm/s). In contrast to PWV, there was no significant correlation between LV mass and AI. In summary, these data suggest that aortic vascular stiffness is an indicator of LV mass even when blood pressure is controlled to less than 140/90 mmHg in hypertensive patients. The data further suggest that PWV is a better proxy or surrogate marker for LV mass than AI and the measurement of PWV may be useful as a rapid and less expensive assessment of the presence of LVH in this patient population.
Left ventricular mass, hypertension, pulse wave velocity, arterial stiffness.
Simon W. Rabkin, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of British Columbia, Level 9 2775 Laurel St, Vancouver, B.C., V5Z 1M9, Canada. Tel. +1.604.875.5847 – Fax: +1.875.5849. E-mail: email@example.com
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