The role of nuclear cardiology in hypertension

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In view of the increased risk of cardiac events in systemic hypertension, particularly in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy, it is important to have reliable methods of assessing cardiac structure and function and myocardial perfusion in these patients. While echocardiography is the noninvasive method of choice for measuring the severity of left ventricular hypertrophy there is no alternative at present to invasive coronary angiography to define accurately coronary artery anatomy. Nuclear cardiological investigations are extremely useful in the assessment of systolic and diastolic function at rest and during exercise. Furthermore, myocardial perfusion imaging is of value in identifying myocardial ischaemia and assessing the functional importance of coronary artery lesions. Recent studies have also suggested that nuclear cardiology investigations may be the best way to identify nonfunctioning but viable areas of the myocardium which may benefit from revascularization.

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