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Am J Med. 1988 Mar 11;84(3A):129-32.

Beneficial effects of one year's treatment with captopril on left ventricular anatomy and function in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy.

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Clinica Medica Generale e Terapia Medica, University of Brescia, Italy.


This study evaluated by echocardiography (M-mode tracings, two-dimensional-guided) the effects of captopril administration for one year (25 to 50 mg twice a day, alone or in combination with hydrochlorothiazide when necessary) on left ventricular mass index, on systolic function at rest and during stress (hand grip for three minutes and cold pressor test for three minutes), and on diastolic function in 15 patients with essential hypertension (13 men and two women, aged 30 to 67 years) with left ventricular hypertrophy. In addition, supine and standing plasma catecholamine concentrations, plasma renin activity, and plasma aldosterone levels were measured. Examinations were performed during a placebo period and after three, six, and 12 months of captopril treatment. Blood pressure was significantly reduced (p less than 0.001), but heart rate did not change. Left ventricular hypertrophy was progressively reduced during treatment, mainly through reduction of left ventricular wall thickness. After one year, all patients had a normal left ventricular mass index (less than 120 g/m2). Before and during treatment, left ventricular systolic function, at rest and on maximal hand grip and cold pressor testing, evaluated on the basis of fractional shortening as related to end-systolic stress, was within the 95 percent confidence limits (calculated in a group of 25 normal subjects) in all 15 patients with essential hypertension. The percent increase in left ventricular dimensions during the diastolic rapid filling phase was significantly increased by treatment (p less than 0.05), indicating improvement of left ventricular relaxation. As expected, plasma renin activity was increased, plasma aldosterone levels were decreased, and plasma catecholamine concentrations did not change. These results indicate that long-term treatment with captopril has beneficial effects on left ventricular anatomy and function in patients with essential hypertension.

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