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Blood Press Suppl. 1992;1:32-3; discussion 33-4.

Reversibility of left ventricular hypertrophy.

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  • 1Royal Brompton and National Heart-Chest Hospital, London, UK.


Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is a powerful independent risk factor for coronary artery disease. This overview of 104 studies examines the ability of various types of antihypertensive therapies to reverse LVH as assessed by echocardiography. Combination therapy, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and methyldopa were the most effective in reversing LV mass; vasodilators such as minoxidil and hydralazine had no effect on LVH. These differences were independent of the degree of fall in blood pressure and duration of therapy. beta-blockers were as effective as ACE inhibitors in decreasing LV wall thickness. Possible reasons for drug differences in reversing LVH are discussed. Preliminary evidence suggests that reversing LVH by antihypertensive drug therapy is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular complications.

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