Echocardiography in clinical practice: The burden of arterial hypertension. A multicenter Italian survey

C. Cuspidi, F. Negri, V. Giudici, A. Capra, M. L. Muiesan, E. Agabiti-Rosei, G. De Simone, N. De Luca, G. Tocci, A. Morganti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little information is available about the burden of hypertension on echo-lab activity in current practice. The aim of the present nation-wide survey in outpatient echo-labs was to investigate the prevalence rates of (1) echo examinations performed for the evaluation of hypertensive cardiac damage; (2) reports providing quantitative data on left ventricular (LV) structure and geometry; (3) LV hypertrophy (LVH) in hypertensives referred to echo labs. The study was carried out in 14 outpatient echo-labs across Italy. Prescriptions written by general practitioners were used to identify the indications for the examinations. Estimates of LVH were derived from original echo reports or were calculated from LV primary measures, when available, with Devereux's formula in a post-analysis. Echo examination was performed in 2449 subjects (1245 men and 1204 women); hypertension was the indication for echo in 745 (30.4%) cases. In this subgroup, LV mass (LVM), LVM indexed to body surface area, LVM indexed to height 2.7 and relative wall thickness ratio were reported in 58, 59, 54 and 52%, respectively. LVH was present in 53% of untreated hypertensives and, among treated patients, in 45 and 65% of those with and without blood pressure control, respectively. Our findings show that (1) hypertension accounts for approximately one-third of echo examinations performed in clinical practice; (2) a large fraction of echo reports do not provide quantitative data on LVM and LV geometry, (3) LVH is highly prevalent in hypertensives referred to echo labs for assessment of cardiac damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Echocardiography
  • Hypertension
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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