Morphological and functional cardiac consequences of rapid hypertension treatment: a cohort study

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Jordan, A. N.
Fulford, J.
Gooding, K.
Anning, C.
Wilkes, L.
Ball, C.
Pamphilon, N.
Mawson, D.
Clark, C. E.
Shore, A. C.
Journal of cardiovascular magnetic resonance
Journal Article
BioMed Central
© 2021. The Author(s).
BACKGROUND: Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH) in uncontrolled hypertension is an independent predictor of mortality, though its regression with treatment improves outcomes. Retrospective data suggest that early control of hypertension provides a prognostic advantage and this strategy is included in the 2018 European guidelines, which recommend treating grade II/III hypertension to target blood pressure (BP) within 3 months. The earliest LVH regression to date was demonstrated by echocardiography at 24 weeks. The effect of a rapid guideline-based treatment protocol on LV remodelling, with very early BP control by 18 weeks remains controversial and previously unreported. We aimed to determine whether such rapid hypertension treatment is associated with improvements in LV structure and function through paired cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) scanning at baseline and 18 weeks, utilising CMR mass and feature tracking analysis. METHODS: We recruited participants with never-treated grade II/III hypertension, initiating a guideline-based treatment protocol which aimed to achieve BP control within 18 weeks. CMR and feature tracking were used to assess myocardial morphology and function immediately before and after treatment. RESULTS: We acquired complete pre- and 18-week post-treatment data for 41 participants. During the interval, LV mass index reduced significantly (43.5 ± 9.8 to 37.6 ± 8.3 g/m(2), p < 0.001) following treatment, accompanied by reductions in LV ejection fraction (65.6 ± 6.8 to 63.4 ± 7.1%, p = 0.03), global radial strain (46.1 ± 9.7 to 39.1 ± 10.9, p < 0.001), mid-circumferential strain (- 20.8 ± 4.9 to - 19.1 ± 3.7, p = 0.02), apical circumferential strain (- 26.0 ± 5.3 to - 23.4 ± 4.2, p = 0.003) and apical rotation (9.8 ± 5.0 to 7.5 ± 4.5, p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: LVH regresses following just 18 weeks of intensive antihypertensive treatment in subjects with newly-diagnosed grade II/III hypertension. This is accompanied by potentially advantageous functional changes within the myocardium and supports the hypothesis that rapid treatment of hypertension could improve clinical outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN registry number: 57475376 (assigned 25/06/2015).
J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2021 Oct 25;23(1):122. doi: 10.1186/s12968-021-00805-5.
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