Heart failure on the basis of hypertension

Circulation. 1993 May;87(5 Suppl):IV66-72.


Arterial hypertension leads to left ventricular hypertrophy. In proportion to increased left ventricular systolic pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy is considered to be of adaptive nature from the point of view of wall stress regulation. In the beginning, left ventricular function is normal, whereas diastolic filling is already compromised by the process of hypertrophy and altered ventricular geometry. In case of ventricular dilation and wall thinning, wall stress increases and leads to an increment in myocardial oxygen demand and a decrease of left ventricular ejection fraction. This is followed by a further decline in intrinsic myocardial contractility and a decrease in the elastic material properties of the myocardium. The structure of the myocardium is characterized by myocyte hypertrophy, a process of reactive and reparative fibrosis and alterations of the coronary microcirculation. Coronary vasodilator reserve is markedly impaired and is likely to initiate a process of malperfusion and malnutrition under increased metabolic demands. Particularly, the combined involvement of myocytes, interstitium, and intramyocardial vasculature appears to predispose to late heart failure after prolonged exposure to chronic pressure overload in arterial hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiac Output, Low / etiology*
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology
  • Diastole
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Systole
  • Ventricular Function, Left