Background: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is both common and an important predictor of risk of death in end-stage renal failure (ESRF). In mild to moderate chronic renal failure (CRF), the timing of onset of LVH and the factors involved in its initial development have not been fully elucidated. The present study was undertaken to examine the prevalence and potential determinants of echocardiographically determined LVH in this connection, and to compare 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (BP) recordings with BP measured at a previous clinic visit.
Methods: From a cohort of 120 non-diabetic patients who had been attending a nephrology clinic, 118 agreed to participate in the study. Of these we selected for analysis 85 stable patients (37 male). Patients with known cardiovascular disease, those with a history of poor compliance with antihypertensive medication, and those in whom such medication had been changed in the previous 3 months were excluded. Clinic BP, 24-h ambulatory BP, echocardiography, body mass index (BMI), serum creatinine (SCr), creatinine clearance (CrCl), haemoglobin (Hb), fasting cholesterol (CHOL), triglyceride TRIGL), plasma glucose, calcium (Ca), phosphate (PO4), alkaline phosphatase (ALK PHOS), parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations, and 24-h urinary protein were assessed in all patients. Seventy-seven per cent were on antihypertensive medication.
Results: LVH was detected in 16% of patients with CrCL > 30 ml/min, and 38% of patients with CrCl < 30 ml/min. By stepwise regression analysis, ambulatory systolic BP (P < 0.0001), male gender (P < 0.0001), BMI (P < 0.0002), and Hb concentration (P < 0.002) were the only independent determinants of left ventricular (LV) mass. Nocturnal systolic BP (P < 0.02) was the main determinant of LVH in the group of patients with advanced CRF. The correlation between left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and mean 24-h ambulatory systolic BP (r = 0.52, 95% confidence interval 0.50-0.54) was statistically significantly stronger than with outpatient systolic BP (r = 0.25, 95% confidence interval 0.23-0.27). The same was true for the correlation between LVMI and mean 24-h ambulatory diastolic BP (r = 0.42, 95% confidence interval 0.40-0.44), and outpatient diastolic BP (r = 0.22, 95% confidence interval 0.20-0.24).
Conclusions: Twenty-four hour ambulatory BP recording and echocardiography are required for accurate diagnosis of inadequate BP control and early LVH in patients with chronic renal impairment, independent determinants of which are hypertension, male sex, BMI, and anaemia.