Peripheral endothelium-dependent flow-mediated vasodilatation is associated with left ventricular mass in older persons with hypertension

Am Heart J. 2002 Jul;144(1):39-44. doi: 10.1067/mhj.2002.122872.


Background: Increased left ventricular (LV) mass is associated with greater cardiovascular disease risk. Recent studies have also shown an association of increased LV mass with attenuated endothelium-dependent coronary flow reserve. Less is known about the association between LV mass and endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in peripheral arteries, a noninvasive measure of endothelial function.

Methods: Sixty-two subjects with untreated mild hypertension, aged 55 to 75 years and otherwise healthy, were examined. Resting blood pressure was obtained by the average of 4 to 5 visits, each at least 1 week apart. LV mass was determined from magnetic resonance imaging and was indexed by body surface area, height and height(2.7). Body composition was assessed with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. FMD was measured as the percent change of brachial artery diameter during reactive hyperemia by use of high-resolution ultrasound.

Results: Median LV mass index was 63 g/m2 (interquartile range, 58-73). In bivariate analysis, LV mass was correlated to lean body mass (r = 0.63, P <.001), diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.35, P <.01), and FMD (r = -0.27, P <.05). In multivariate analysis, 44% of the variance in log-LV mass was explained by lean body mass. An additional 6% of the variance was explained by FMD (P <.05). For each 1% point decrease in FMD, LV mass increased by 1.1%.

Conclusions: In addition to the expected influences of body size, impairment of brachial artery FMD was independently related to LV mass in elderly subjects with mild hypertension who did not yet have LV hypertrophy. Whether mild hypertension is the common mechanism linking LV mass and endothelial function has yet to be determined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / complications
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / pathology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Vasodilation / physiology*