Our goal was to study the relative influence of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and plasmatic markers of sympathetic and renin-aldosterone systems (RAS) activities to left atrial diameter (LAD), left ventricular posterior wall thickness (LVPWT) and pulse wave velocity (PWV), which reflect cardiovascular remodeling in hypertension.
Methods: In 227 consecutive patients with hypertension (mean age +/- SD: 53.3 years +/- 13.4, 126 men), we measured: PWV, LAD, LVPWT, mean 24-hours SBP, plasma renin activity, and plasma aldosterone and catecholamine levels. Multiples linear regression analyses were performed to test statistical associations between hemodynamic and neurohumoral factors, and cardiovascular remodeling parameters, after adjustment for age, gender and body mass index.
Results: LVPWT was positively correlated to SBP as well as to plasma aldosterone and meta-noradrenaline (p < 0.001). LAD and PWV were related to SBP but not to any of the biological variables. Moreover, LAD correlated to PWV independently of SBP (p < 0.05), whereas after SBP inclusion in the model, there was not significant correlation between LAD and LVPWT nor between LVPWT and PWV.
Conclusion: In hypertension, the development of cardiac hypertrophy depends on SBP and the sympathetic and renin-aldosterone systems activities. The RAS is not involved in the PWV nor LAD modifications. Strong association between LAD and PWV suggest that left atrial enlargement, that may be considered as a marker of diastolic function, may results more from arterial stiffness than from ventricular hypertrophy.