Should all patients with hypertension have echocardiography?
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
The feasibility of echocardiographic determination of left ventricular (LV) mass, as well as the advantages that might be gained in some clinical circumstances and possible indications are examined in the present review, in relation to the recent WHO/ISH. The information obtained with echocardiograms in arterial hypertension is an important contribution to risk stratification on an epidemiological scale. In clinical practice, under the ascertained condition of a good reliability, an echocardiogram should be recommended as part of the initial work up when patients meet criteria for not starting therapy (low or mild risk WHO-ISH) or in all circumstances in which decision-making might be affected by the echocardiographic result. At present, there is not sufficient evidence to extend the indication of echocardiography also to patients for whom antihypertensive management is already necessitated by identification of high or very high risk status.