Antihypertensive treatment can improve tissue Doppler indices of left ventricular diastolic function in the short term, but little is known about the longer-term effect of different antihypertensive treatments on progression of left ventricular diastolic function and left ventricular hypertrophy. We hypothesized that long-term treatment of hypertension will lead to improvements in left ventricular hypertrophy and diastolic function. We collected detailed cardiovascular phenotypic data on 1006 participants from a substudy of the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial. Patients randomized to either an amlodipine±perindopril-based or an atenolol±bendroflumethiazide-based regimen underwent conventional and tissue Doppler echocardiography at time of control of blood pressure after randomization (≈1.5 years; phase 1) and after a further 2 years of antihypertensive treatment (phase 2). There were no prerandomization data. Five hundred thirty-six patients had complete data collection at both phases. Left ventricular mass index regressed from phase 1 to 2 with no significant difference between treatment groups (amlodipine: 119.5-116.8; atenolol: 122.9-117.5; P<0.001 for both). Conversely, tissue Doppler diastolic indices did not change in the amlodipine±perindopril-based regimen (E/e', 7.5-7.6 cm/s; P=not significant), but deteriorated in the atenolol±bendroflumethiazide-based regimen (E/e', 8.0-8.5 cm/s; P<0.01). Despite regression of left ventricular hypertrophy, there was no associated improvement in diastolic function. In fact, long-term treatment with atenolol±bendroflumethiazide resulted in a progressive deterioration in E/e'. This may be a factor contributing to the previously described worse clinical outcome in patients treated with atenolol±bendroflumethiazide compared with amlodipine±perindopril.
Keywords: Doppler; calcium-channel blockers; echocardiography; hypertension; hypertrophy; left ventricular.