Heart and hypertension

Am J Hypertens. 1989 Feb;2(2 Pt 2):16S-23S. doi: 10.1093/ajh/2.2.16s.


The manifestations of cardiac involvement in hypertension include: (1) the development of hypertensive heart disease characterized by left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), and (2) the consequences of coronary atherosclerosis, as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death. Whereas the former is directly related to increased blood pressure, the latter are sequelae of atherosclerosis per se, and hypertension acts only as a risk factor in this regard. This can partially explain why antihypertensive treatment is effective in diminishing the incidence of congestive heart failure, which is the final consequence of LVH, but is not very effective in preventing coronary complications. It is generally accepted about LVH that increased arterial pressure is the major stimulus to cardiac hypertrophy in hypertension; however, there are a lot of both quantitative and qualitative events suggesting that other factors beside blood pressure levels can modulate the development of LVH, in particular neurohumoral influences. From a morphological point of view, hypertrophy of the cardiac muscle is defined as an increase in the size of existing myocardial fibers. In most experimental models, myocardial hypertrophy is associated with myosin isoenzymatic changes, consisting in a shift from the faster migrating isoenzyme V1 to V3, a form that migrates more slowly. However these changes do not occur in all animal species and particularly in humans. In the hypertrophied human ventricle, a decreased ATPase activity of myofibrils was observed, probably related to changes in myosin light chains. Presently the changes in ATPase activity and in ventricular contractility do not still have a clear molecular basis in humans.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / physiology
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*


  • Adenosine Triphosphatases