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Am J Cardiol. 1995 Nov 2;76(13):43D-47D.

Congestive heart failure due to hypertensive ventricular diastolic dysfunction.

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  • 1University of the Basque Country Institute of Cardiology, Bilbao (Bizkaia), Spain.


Left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction is the first discernible manifestation of heart disease in hypertensive patients. Arterial hypertension with LV hypertrophy leads to reduced preload followed by impaired cardiac output (systolic dysfunction stemming from primary diastolic dysfunction). Diastolic dysfunction leads more often than systolic dysfunction to hypertensive heart failure and is in many cases clearly distinguishable from heart failure with low ejection fraction (EF). Mortality due to heart failure from impaired inotropism is higher than mortality due to diastolic dysfunction, but morbidity is lower. Hypertensive cardiomyopathies can be divided into 4 ascending categories, according to the pathophysiologic and clinical impact of hypertension on the heart: Degree I: LV diastolic dysfunction with no associated LV hypertrophy Degree II: LV diastolic dysfunction with echocardiographic LV hypertrophy Degree IIA: Normal exercise capacity in terms of maximal oxygen consumption Degree IIB: Impaired exercise capacity in terms of maximal oxygen consumption Degree III: Congestive heart failure (severe dyspnea and radiographically determined pulmonary edema with normal (> or = 50%) EF Degree IIIA: LV mass/volume ratio > 1.8 with little or no myocardial ischemia Degree IIIB: LV mass/volume ratio < 1.8 with significant myocardial ischemia Degree IV: Profile of dilated cardiomyopathy; LV hypertrophy and impaired EF (< 50%).

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