Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the prognostic value of changes in left ventricular hypertrophy in hypertensive patients with time.
Design: Two hundred and fifteen uncomplicated hypertensive patients underwent a high-quality baseline echocardiogram for left ventricular anatomy evaluation and in 151 of those patients the echocardiographic examination was repeated 10 +/- 1.4 years after the initial study.
Methods: Left ventricular mass index changes were evaluated, in relation to the incidence of non-fatal cardiovascular events, adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Results: According to the presence or absence of left ventricular hypertrophy (left ventricular mass index > 134 g/m2 in men and > 110 g/m2 in women) at baseline and at the end of follow-up study, patients were divided into four groups: with normal left ventricular mass at both examinations (n = 78), with regression of left ventricular hypertrophy (n = 32), with persistence of left ventricular hypertrophy (n = 34) and with hypertrophy development (n = 7). After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, the cumulative incidence of non-fatal cardiovascular events was significantly higher in the group of patients without regression of left ventricular hypertrophy. Cox survival analysis showed the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy at the end of follow-up study to be the most important factor related to cardiovascular events.
Conclusions: The present findings strongly indicate that the lack of decrease or the increase of left ventricular mass after antihypertensive treatment can be associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular events, which is significantly reduced and almost normalized by complete regression of left ventricular hypertrophy.