Background: Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and is associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Cardiac changes such as impaired left ventricular (LV) function, left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), and heart failure are consequences of chronic exposure to elevated blood pressure. Speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) is a sensitive method for detecting early regional and global myocardial dysfunction missed in asymptomatic patients with cardiovascular disease by conventional modalities.
Objectives: This study aimed to assess the ability of 2D-STE in assessing regional and global LV strain to diagnose subclinical LV dysfunction in patients with systemic hypertension and preserved ejection fraction.
Methods: This prospective observational study included 80 hypertensive patients and 30 healthy controls. In the hypertensive group, at least six months had passed from diagnosis of hypertension according to AHA guidelines. 2D echocardiographic LV images were acquired in apical 4, 2, and 3-chamber and parasternal short axis views. Left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LVGLS) and circumferential strain (LVGCS) were quantified in all segments using a Philips Affiniti 70 device. Differences between hypertensive patients and controls were analyzed using the independent t-test. A P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: In comparison, LVGLS and LVGCS were significantly (P < 0.001) lower among the hypertensive group (GLS: -17.43 ± 1.71, GCS: -23.76 ± 3.35) than the control group (GLS: -20.18 ± 1.11, GCS: -27.46 ± 4.33). LVGLS was significantly (P < 0.001) lower in uncontrolled hypertension (-16.91 ± 1.70) vs. controlled hypertension (-17.96 ± 1.57). Similarly, LVGLS was significantly (P < 0.001) lower among the cases with LVH on 2D echocardiography (16.23 ± 1.69) compared to those without LVH (17.96 ± 1.6). In the hypertensive group, LVGLS was significantly lower in males (-16.84 ± 1.42) than in females (-18.02 ± 1.78; P < 0.05).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the potential benefits of using STE as a non-invasive imaging technique in assessing cardiac remodeling and providing a further risk assessment of hypertensive patients.
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© 2022, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.