Future directions in the use of echocardiography.
The heart may play an active, passive, or incidental role in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Echocardiography probably contributes little to understanding of active mechanisms, although it may provide important information relative to structural and functional adaptive changes associated with development of left ventricular hypertrophy. Moreover, because other clinical conditions frequently coexist with hypertensive heart disease, echocardiography may provide another dimension in the assessment of obesity, coronary heart disease, mitral valve prolapse, idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis, and asymmetric septal hypertrophy in the overall problem. Critical in this understanding are the subtle changes that occur in the individual patient, reflecting the natural history of the disease or response to its treatment. Since technical problems preclude echocardiographic evaluation in all patients with hypertension, particular care must be exercised in making epidemiologic generalizations.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association