Is inappropriate left ventricular mass related to neurohormonal factors and/or arterial changes in hypertension? A LIFE substudy
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
We investigated whether inappropriately high left ventricular (LV) mass, defined as observed LV mass exceeding the level of individual LV mass predicted from gender, height, and stroke work, may be associated with an imbalance between growth-promoting and growth-inhibitory factors and/or structural vascular changes. In 53 patients with hypertension and electrocardiographic LV hypertrophy, 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (BP); echocardiographic LV mass, stroke volume and stroke work; minimal forearm vascular resistance (MFVR); and intima-media cross-sectional area in common carotid arteries (IMA) were evaluated after 2 weeks of placebo treatment. Serum insulin, plasma epinephrine, norepinephrine, endothelin, angiotensin II, aldosterone, and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were also measured. High observed LV mass was related to high IMA (r=0.46, P<0.001), MFVR (in men: r=0.36, P<0.05), 24-h ambulatory systolic BP (r=0.30, P=0.06), and lower plasma angiotensin II (r=-0.33, P<0.05), but not to other circulating growth factors. Stroke work was similarly related to IMA (r=0.42, P<0.01), MFVR (in men: r=0.41, P<0.05), and plasma angiotensin II (r=-0.32, P<0.05). Inappropriate LV mass, identified by the ratio between observed LV mass and the value predicted for gender, height, and stroke work, was not significantly related to any of the arterial or neurohormonal variables. In this small series of older hypertensive patients, inappropriate LV mass was not significantly related to arterial changes or to measured circulating growth factors, although weak relations cannot be excluded. Alternatively, inappropriately high LV mass might be related to unmeasured factors such as local myocardial alterations in growth factors and/or genetic predisposition to develop excessive LV hypertrophy.