Left ventricular hypertrophy may be considered the result of an interaction of a myriad of factors, including hemodynamic overload; age, race, and gender of the patient; the stage of hypertensive disease; and other coexisting diseases. This concept is similar to the multifactorial "mosaic of hypertension" described by Page. In addition, the increased left ventricular mass in hypertension may reflect the disposition of collagen tissue and the participation of a myriad of myocytic growth factors, as well as drug therapy. The resultant left ventricular hypertrophy confers increased cardiovascular risk that is independent of the height of arterial pressure. The mechanisms that account for that risk are not yet well understood but include reduced adaptive myocardial reserve, enhanced predisposition to cardiac dysrhythmias and cardiac failure, accelerated atherosclerosis, and reduced (absolute and relative) coronary flow and flow reserve, as well as other possibilities. At present much work is directed to the demonstration of pharmacological reversal of hypertrophy. However, even with that demonstration of reduced cardiac mass with therapy, it will be necessary to show improved risk at the reduced mass that is independent of the reduction of arterial pressure as well as of the effects of those drugs on cardiac rhythm, flow, metabolism, and direct effects on the cardiac myocyte itself.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association