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Left ventricular hypertrophy in obese hypertensives: is it really eccentric? (An echocardiographic study)


, : Left ventricular hypertrophy in obese hypertensives: is it really eccentric? (An echocardiographic study). Collegium Antropologicum 24(1): 167-183

In order to study left ventricular hypertrophy patterns in obese hypertensives, we examined 132 patients with essential hypertension by 2D, M-mode and Doppler echocardiography. The patients were classified in four comparable groups, corresponding to the values of Quetelet's body mass index (BMI) and grades of obesity. More obese hypertensives had on average larger left ventricles with thicker walls and larger left atria than less obese, or lean ones. Left ventricular mass increased significantly and progressively with advancing grades of obesity, but relative wall thickness (wall thickness/cavity size ratio) did not diminish. Doppler echocardiography revealed significantly higher prevalence of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction among obese than among lean hypertensives. In the second part of our study, we analyzed the subgroups defined by the severity of hypertension and the age of the patients. The correlation of the indices of left ventricular and left atrial hypertrophy with the BMI values was considerably better in the group of moderate than in the group of mild hypertension. The r values were 0.62 vs. 0.22 for left ventricular mass and 0.64 vs. 0.26 for left atrial dimension. The group of patients with severe hypertension was characterized by left ventricular cavity enlargement in correlation with increasing BMI values, but without corresponding left ventricular wall thickening. So called left ventricular "eccentricity index", as the reverse value of relative wall thickness, correlated well (r = 0.76) with the BMI values. The indices of left ventricular hypertrophy correlated with the BMI values slightly better in middle age groups than in the groups of the youngest (< or = 30 years) or the eldest (> or = 61 years) hypertensives. In conclusion, eccentric left ventricular hypertrophy does not seem to be a distinctive feature of hypertensive heart disease in obesity. There is only some tendency toward the "eccentricity" of left ventricular geometry which becomes more apparent in more severe forms of hypertension, especially in very obese persons.

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PMID: 10895544


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