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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2006 August;54(4):417-29

language: English

The pathophysiology of target organ damage in hypertension

Karpha M., Lip G. Y. H.

Haemostasis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Unit University Department of Medicine City Hospital Birmingham, UK


Hypertension is a common condition and a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Hypertension is also associated with damage or dysfunction with other organs in the body, causing strokes, proteinuria, renal failure and retinopathy. Damage/ dysfunction in these areas are commonly termed as hypertensive target organ damage (TOD). The development of TOD is a multifactorial process affecting various elements of vascular biology such as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, prothrombotic states, inflammatory processes and endothelial function. These factors are inter-related in their contribution to the development of TOD. As hypertension is an important public health challenge worldwide a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiological processes leaving to its complications would be beneficial towards improving management strategies. The purpose of this review is to describe the various mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of TOD and highlight recent advances in this field.

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