Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Di Bello V., Pedrinelli R., Giorgi D., Bertini A., Talini E., Mengozzi G., Palagi C., Nardi C., Dell'Omo G., Paterni M., Mariani M. Coronary microcirculation in essential hypertension: a quantitative myocardial contrast echocardiographic approach. In: European journal echocardiography, vol. 03 (02) pp. 117 - 127. Elsevier Inc, 2002.
Aims: The aims of the present study were: (a) to demonstrate whether quantitative myocardial contrast echocardiography can detect the increase in coronary flow induced by dipyridamole infusion vasodilation through the myocardial opacification due to the transit of microbubbles, both at rest and after dipyridamole induced vasodilation; (b) to explore the coronary microcirculatory function before and after dipyridamole in two different models: asymptomatic and relatively young hypertensive patients with a mild degree of left ventricular hypertrophy, and healthy controls. Methods and Results: Two groups of strictly age-matched males were studied (case-control study): 10, relatively young and asymptomatic essential hypertensive patients with a mild degree of left ventricular hypertrophy with a normal left ventricular function, and 10 healthy controls. The main findings were: the microbubbles' appearance area was significantly lower in hypertensive patients than in controls (P<005) because of a significantly lower time to peak. The peak intensity at rest was higher in hypertensives than in controls (P<005); but the per cent increase after vasodilatory stimulus was significantly higher in controls (+71% in controls vs +31% in hypertensives; P<005). The microbubbles' disappearance area was comparable in both groups at rest; the per cent increase of this parameter after dipyridamole was significantly higher in controls (+124%) than in hypertensives (+90%) (P<005). The results achieved in this study documented that the coronary microcirculation in hypertensive patients presenting a mild degree of left ventricular hypertrophy, explored with quantitative myocardial contrast echocardiography, showed a different behaviour in comparison with controls, in the vasodilatory response to dipyridamole. Conclusion: The coronary microcirculation in hypertensives showed a reduced vasodilation capacity of the resistance arterioles under dipyridamole induced vasodilatation, and a possible impairment of the endothelium dependent vasodilation. This happened despite an increase in the left ventricular mass, where the relation between capillary bed distribution and hypertrophied myocardium (rarefaction phenomenon) is not completely respected.
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=MImg&_imagekey=B6WF0-466TBV9-7-1&_cdi=6780&_user=10&_orig=search&_coverDate=06%2F30%2F2002&_sk=999969997&view=c&wchp=dGLbVlb-zSkzS&md5=d4d263d2c7bab1d348fe7a1147d86cd4&ie=/sdarticle.pdf
Subject essential hypertension
myocardial contrast echocardiography
coronary artery disease

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