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J Hypertens. 2008 Dec;26(12):2399-405. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32831286fd.

Arterial stiffness, intima-media thickness and carotid artery fibrosis in patients with primary aldosteronism.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. g.bernini@med.unipi.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate vascular wall structure and conduit artery stiffness in patients with primary aldosteronism.

METHODS:

This observational study, conducted in a University Hypertension Center, evaluated the carotid wall by 2-D ultrasonography and ultrasonic tissue characterization, and analyzed arterial stiffness by applanation tonometer. Twenty-three consecutive patients with primary aldosteronism, 24 matched patients with essential hypertension and 15 controls were studied. Intima-media thickness and corrected integrated backscatter signal of the carotid arteries were evaluated. Radial and femoral pulse wave velocity and aortic augmentation index were also investigated.

RESULTS:

Intima-media thickness in patients with essential hypertension (0.69 +/- 0.03 mm) was higher (P < 0.04) than that in controls (0.59 +/- 0.02 mm). This finding was more evident in primary aldosteronism patients (0.84 +/- 0.03 mm), in whom intima-media thickness was greater than that in controls (P < 0.0001) or in patients with essential hypertension (P < 0.01). Similarly, corrected integrated backscatter signal in patients with essential hypertension (-23.6 +/- 0.35 dB) was higher (P < 0.0001) than that in controls (-26.2 +/- 0.44 dB), but it was even more elevated in patients with primary aldosteronism (-22.1 +/- 0.46 dB), who showed greater corrected integrated backscatter signal than was the case in patients with essential hypertension (P < 0.009) or in controls (P < 0.0001). Femoral pulse wave velocity was higher in primary aldosteronism patients (10.8 +/- 0.57 m/s) than in patients with essential hypertension (9.1 +/- 0.34 m/s, P < 0.03) or in controls (7.1 +/- 0.51 m/s, P < 0.0001). Femoral pulse wave velocity was lower in controls than in patients with essential hypertension (P < 0.0001). The same pattern was observed for radial pulse wave velocity. Aortic augmentation index was higher in primary aldosteronism patients (28.2 +/- 2.1%) than in patients with essential hypertension (26.0 +/- 1.8%) or in controls (16.8 +/- 2.0%, P < 0.001). Patients with essential hypertension likewise exhibited higher aortic augmentation index than controls (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Aldosterone excess is responsible per se for vascular morphological (wall thickening and carotid artery fibrosis) and functional (central stiffness) damage.

PMID:
19008719
DOI:
10.1097/HJH.0b013e32831286fd
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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