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Am J Cardiol. 2001 Mar 15;87(6):732-6.

Ventricular and myocardial function following treatment of hypertension.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, USA.


This study assesses and evaluates left ventricular (LV) contractile function after treatment of hypertension, with an emphasis on LV midwall mechanics. Although prior studies have assessed cardiac function after hypertension treatment, none has performed an analysis of LV midwall mechanics. The Veterans Affairs Study of monotherapy in hypertension was a study large enough to permit analysis of midwall mechanics across a wide spectrum of mass changes accompanying hypertension treatment. LV chamber function was assessed by computing fractional shortening at the endocardial surface; LV midwall shortening was used to define myocardial function. Both shortening indexes were related to end-systolic circumferential stress in the entire population by partitioning values of mass and relative wall thickness changes. Two hundred sixty-eight patients were studied at baseline and again after a 1- or 2-year period. In the entire group, there was no significant change in circumferential shortening either at the endocardium (38 +/- 8% at baseline vs 37 +/- 7% at follow up, p = 0.29) or in shortening at the midwall (20 +/- 3% vs 20 +/- 3%, p = 0.53). However, 83 patients had a reduction in relative wall thickness and an increase in midwall shortening. The change in midwall shortening was significantly related to changes in relative wall thickness (r = -0.53, p = 0.0001). Thus, reductions in LV mass associated with antihypertensive therapy are generally not accompanied by a decrement in LV chamber or myocardial function. Improvement in midwall shortening is more closely related to normalization of LV geometry than to reduction in LV mass.

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