Resistant hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy: an overview

J Am Soc Hypertens. 2010 Nov-Dec;4(6):319-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2010.10.003.


Available data on subclinical cardiac damage in resistant hypertension (RH) are rather scanty. Thus, we sought to review the literature focusing on the association between RH and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). A MEDLINE search was performed to identify relevant articles using the key words "resistant hypertension, " "refractory hypertension," "left ventricular hypertrophy," "cardiac damage," and "left ventricular dysfunction." Full articles published in the English language in the last two decades (December 1, 1989, to July 31, 2010) reporting studies in adult or elderly individuals, were considered. Checks of the reference lists of selected articles complemented the electronic search. A total of 11 cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, including 3325 patients attending outpatient hypertension clinics, were considered. Prevalence rates of echocardiographic LVH, as assessed by updated criteria, ranged from 55% to 75% of patients with RH, peaking to 91% in the subgroup with concomitant electrocardiographic (ECG) LV strain. Reduction in ECG-LVH induced by treatment showed a relevant beneficial impact on cardiovascular prognosis. These data support the view that initial and on-treatment assessment of LVH in patients with RH is important for cardiovascular risk monitoring and therapeutic strategies decision-making.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / drug therapy
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Ultrasonography


  • Antihypertensive Agents