Changes in left ventricular mass during a double-blind study with chlorthalidone and slow-release nifedipine


The presence of a possible correlation between changes in left ventricular mass of hypertensive patients and the degree of blood pressure reduction with different antihypertensive drugs has been investigated in 40 outpatients by M-mode echocardiography. Ten of these, with blood pressure in normal limits with different antihypertensive treatment had their therapy changed in chlorthalidone 25 mg/day without any run-in (Group A); other 30 patients, with a previously uncontrolled blood pressure, after a 14 day run-in, were randomly allocated to chlorthalidone 25 mg/day (Group B), slow release nifedipine 20 mg/day (Group C) or placebo (Group D). At the end of the eight week treatment period a further decrease in systolic blood pressure was observed in Group A without changes in ventricular mass; an highly significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was observed in B and C but only patients on chlorthalidone changed their ventricular mass; no change in both blood pressure and ventricular mass was observed on placebo. As changes in ventricular mass are not correlated with blood pressure reduction, we conclude that other, not well defined factors, apart from the decrease in duration and degree of left ventricular systolic wall tension, may be responsable for reversal of left ventricular hypertrophy.


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