Association of left ventricular structural and functional abnormalities with aortic and brachial blood pressure variability in hypertensive patients: the SAFAR study

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Both brachial blood pressure (BP) level and its variability (BPV) significantly associate with left ventricular (LV) structure and function. Recent studies indicate that aortic BP is superior to brachial BP in the association with LV abnormalities. However, it remains unknown whether aortic BPV better associate with LV structural and functional abnormalities. We therefore aimed to investigate and compare aortic versus brachial BPV, in terms of the identification of LV abnormalities. Two hundred and three participants who underwent echocardiography were included in this study. Twenty-four-hour aortic and brachial ambulatory BP was measured simultaneously by a validated BP monitor (Mobil-O-Graph, Stolberg, Germany) and BPV was calculated with validated formulae. LV mass and LV diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) were evaluated by echocardiography. The prevalence of LV hypertrophy (LVH) and LVDD increased significantly with BPV indices (P ≤ 0.04) in trend tests. After adjustment to potential confounders, only aortic average real variability (ARV), but not brachial ARV or weighted s.d. (wSD, neither aortic nor brachial) significantly associated with LV mass index (P = 0.02). Similar results were observed in logistic regression. After adjustment, only aortic ARV significantly associated with LVH (odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.28 (1.08, 4.82)). As for LVDD, neither the brachial nor the aortic 24-hour wSD, but the aortic and brachial ARV, associated with LVDD significantly, with OR = 2.28 (95% CI: (1.03, 5.02)) and OR = 2.36 (95% CI: (1.10, 5.05)), respectively. In summary, aortic BPV, especially aortic ARV, seems to be superior to brachial BPV in the association of LV structural and functional abnormalities.

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