Scientific authorities recommend that patients with arterial hypertension should be managed not only on the basis of blood pressure (BP) levels, but also on the assemement of total cardiovascular risk. In particular, evaluation of target organ damage (TOD) is of major relevance for identifying hypertensive individuals at high cardiovascular risk independently of clinic BP levels. Evidence of cardiac and extra-cardiac TOD has been consistently associated with worse cardiovascular prognosis. Unfortunately, detection of TOD markedly depends on sensitivity of diagnostic tools, at difference from evaluation of risk factors and associated diseases, usually reliably provided by accurate clinical examination and routine investigation. The purpose of this paper was to provide an updated, comprehensive review on the role of echocardiography in identifying hypertensive patients apparently uncomplicated, but exposed to a high cardiovascular risk due to the presence of subclinical structural and functional cardiac alterations of adverse prognostic significance.
- High cardiovascular risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Internal Medicine