Regression of increased left ventricular mass by antihypertensives

Drugs. 1991 Dec;42(6):945-61. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199142060-00004.


Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is both a target organ response to chronic arterial hypertension and a disorder that may be responsible for cardiovascular events. Although an increase in ventricular wall thickness may initially be compensatory and decrease wall stress, numerous studies have indicated that LVH is associated with a reduction in coronary flow reserve, diastolic and systolic ventricular dysfunction, and ventricular arrhythmias, all of which predispose to morbid cardiovascular events, including acute coronary syndromes, congestive myocardial failure, and sudden death. Reduction in LVH has been accomplished with beneficial effects on diastolic function and ventricular arrhythmias, without pressure-induced deterioration in systolic or diastolic function. Although therapy with diuretics and vasodilators effectively lowers arterial pressure, these therapies are not usually associated with significant regression of LVH. Calcium channel blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-adrenergic blockers, central adrenergic blocking agents, and possibly alpha-adrenergic blockers and diuretics with vasodilatory properties are associated with reductions in LV mass. However, studies are still needed to determine the relative effects of various antihypertensive therapies on LVH regression, coronary flow reserve, ventricular function, ventricular ectopy, and most importantly, on protection against major cardiac morbidity and mortality inherent to LVH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiomegaly / drug therapy*
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology
  • Heart Function Tests
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors


  • Antihypertensive Agents