Objective: Both hypertension and aortic valve stenosis induce left ventricular hypertrophy. However, less is known about the influence of concomitant hypertension on left ventricular structure in patients with aortic valve stenosis.
Methods: Baseline Doppler echocardiography was performed in 1720 patients with asymptomatic aortic valve stenosis (peak transaortic velocity >or=2.5 m/s and <or=4.0 m/s) recruited in the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis study at 173 centers in seven European countries. Patients were grouped as normotensive (n = 482) or hypertensive (n = 1238) according to history of hypertension or clinic blood pressure greater than 140 mmHg systolic or greater than 90 mmHg diastolic at baseline visits.
Results: Hypertensive patients were older, more obese, and included more women (all P < 0.05). Furthermore, the hypertensive group had higher wall thicknesses and left ventricular mass and higher prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy (40 vs. 25%) and increased relative wall thickness (21 vs. 14%, both P < 0.01). On the basis of aortic valve area and energy loss the degree of aortic valve stenosis did not differ between the groups. In multivariate analysis, hypertension predicted higher left ventricular mass independent of other well known confounders including male sex, circumferential end-systolic stress, body mass index, aortic regurgitation, left ventricular ejection fraction and severity of aortic stenosis (multiple R = 0.30, P < 0.001).
Conclusion: In patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis, concomitant hypertension significantly influences left ventricular geometry and is associated with higher left ventricular mass, relative wall thickness and higher prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy.