It is not known if diastolic abnormalities are independent of systolic dysfunction in arterial hypertension. We studied three groups of 10 male subjects of comparable mean age (31.6 +/- 3.5 years), weight, and height: Athletes (A) (cyclists), essential hypertensive patients (H), and controls (C). Ultrasonic myocardial integrated backscatter signals (IBS) of the septum and the posterior wall were analyzed, while the systo-diastolic variation of the backscatter was considered as a cyclic variation index (CVIibs) Myocardial velocities across the left ventricular major axis were sampled at septum and lateral wall levels by pulsed-wave Doppler tissue imaging (DTI). CVIibs at the septum and the posterior wall were significantly lower in the hypertensive group in comparison with athletes and controls, who were comparable, Early diastolic myocardial velocity (E-m) of the lateral wall and of the septum were significantly lower in hypertensives, while the late diastolic myocardial velocity (A,,) was significantly higher in hypertensives in comparison with athletes. The E-m/A(m) at the septum level was significantly lower in hypertensives in comparison with athletes and controls. Significant correlations were found between CVI and DTI parameters: CVIibs and E-m/A(m) septum (r = 0.50, P < 0.002). Furthermore, significant correlations were found between mean arterial pressure (MAP) and E-m/A(m) septum (r = - 0.65, P < 0.001). Ultrasonic tissue characterization with the intrinsic contractility study and the evaluation of the regional diastolic function should, therefore, represent a new integrated diagnostic modality for the evaluation of left ventricular hypertrophied intramyocardial function. This study demonstrated that diastolic abnormalities of left ventricular function, in arterial hypertension, are related and progress with systolic intrinsic dysfunction.
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