This study was undertaken to evaluate the relationships among left ventricular (LV) geometric patterns and urinary albumin excretion in patients with hypertension and electrocardiographic (ECG) LV hypertrophy. In 143 patients with stage II-III hypertension, 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (BP) monitoring, single urine albumin determination, and echocardiography were performed after 14 days of placebo treatment. Mean age was 68+/-7 years, 35% were women, body mass index was 28+/-5 kg/m(2), LV mass index (LVMI) was 125+/-26 g/m(2), and 24% had microalbuminuria. The mean office BP was 176+/-15/99+/-8 mmHg and the mean daytime ambulatory BP was 161+/-18/92+/-12 mmHg. Ambulatory BP, but not office BP, was higher among albuminuric compared to normoalbuminuric patients. In patients with established hypertension, daytime pulse pressure and office BP were different in the four patterns of LV geometry, with the highest pressure in those with abnormal geometry. Furthermore, microalbuminuria was more frequent in hypertensive patients with LV hypertrophy than in those with either normal geometry or concentric remodelling. White coat hypertensives (10%) showed lower LVMI and no microalbuminuria compared to patients with established hypertension. There were no differences in the prevalence of nondippers (26%) among the four LV geometric patterns or in microalbuminuria. In conclusion, increased daytime pulse pressure and office BP were associated with increased prevalence of abnormal LV geometry. Microalbuminuria was more frequent in groups with concentric and eccentric LV hypertrophy. Ambulatory BP, but not office BP, was higher in albuminuric than normoalbuminuric patients. With regard to the relationship among BP, LV geometric patterns, and urine albumin excretion in this population, 24-h ambulatory BP did not provide additional information beyond the office BP.