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MINERVA CARDIOANGIOLOGICA

A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2001 August;49(4):239-44

language: Italian

Silent ischemia and ventricular arrhythmias in essential hypertension

Palmiero P., Maiello M.


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Background. Silent ischemia episodes rate is 4-5% among overfifty aged people. Patients affected by hypertension have higher coronary artery disease rate than people with normal blood pressure. An increased mortality is present among patients affected by essential hypertension, expecially if affected by silent ischemia and /or ventricular arrhythmias. In all previous study about hypertension, the inclusion criterion was a diastolic blood pressure >95 mmHg, that is a low selective one. The aim of study is to evaluate ventricular arrhythmias rate, in hypertensive patients, without pharmacological therapy, and diagnosed by 24 hours ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), so using a more selective criterion than WHO rules.
Methods. 128 consecutive patients with hypertension diagnosis by WHO rules, were screened for 24 hours ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM); 85 of them (66.4%) had 24 hours mean blood pressure >135/85 mmHg. These 85 patients were screened for M-mode, B-mode echocardiography and 24 hours electrocardiogram monitoring by Holter.
Results. Sixty patients (70.6%) were affected by left ventricular hypertrophy, 25 were free (29.4%) According to the Lown and Wolf classification for ventricular arrhythmias 20 patients (23.5%) had a Grade I arrhythmia, 5 (5.9%) had a Grade II, 4 (4.7%) had a Grade III, 9 (10.6%) had a Grade IV A, 20 (23.5%) had a Grade IV B, 12 (14.2%) had a Grade V and 15 patients (17.6%) were free from premature ventricular complexes. 40 patients (47%) had one or more ST depression episodes longer than 60'' . The range of episodes number is 1 - 22, mean 6.8; their duration range is 1 - 16 minutes, mean 7.6 minutes. In our study, left ventricular hypertrophy correlate significantly with arrhythmia Lown score, r=0.552 for p<0.0001 and also with silent ischemia as ST depression r=0.51, p<0.004. The correlation, between arrhythmia score and ST depression, r=0.042, p<0.021 is not highly significant.
Conclusions. The conclusion is drawn that using a more selective criterion for the diagnosis of hypertension, it is possible to identify patients affected by a more severe stage of disease, and detect them for primary prevention of coronary events.

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