Markers of Inflammation and Fibrosis Are Related to Cardiovascular Damage in Hypertensive Patients with Metabolic Syndrome

Sebastiano Sciarretta, Andrea Ferrucci, Giuseppino Massimo Ciavarella, Paola De Paolis, Vanessa Venturelli, Giuliano Tocci, Luciano De Biase, Speranza Rubattu, Massimo Volpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies have shown that metabolic syndrome (MS) is associated with an increased susceptibility to develop cardiovascular damage (CD). Experimental evidence indicates that inflammation and fibrosis could play a critical role in the development of CD in hypertension. This issue has not been clarified yet in patients with MS. The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between markers of inflammation and fibrosis with CD in hypertensive patients with and without MS. Methods: One hundred twenty-eight essential hypertensive patients were included in the study: 51 with MS and 77 without MS. Clinical, biochemical parameters, 24-h urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER), levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and procollagen type 1 carboxy-terminal propeptide (PICP) were measured. All patients underwent an echocardiographic examination with transmitral Doppler and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). Results: Left ventricular mass indexed by height2.7 (LVM/h2.7) (P <.001), early diastolic peak flow velocity/early myocardial diastolic velocity ratio (E/Em ratio), a TDI index of diastolic function (P <.001), and 24-h UAER (P <.05) were significantly higher in the group with MS, whereas peak myocardial systolic velocity (Sm), a TDI index of systolic function (P <.001), was lower. Serum levels of CRP (P <.001), TNF-α (P <.05), TGF-β (P <.01), and PICP (P <.001) were significantly increased in MS. These markers were significantly related to higher LVMI2.7, higher E/Em ratio, and increased 24-h UAER and a lower Sm in the whole population, with a further significant enhancement in MS. Conclusions: Cardiovascular damage is more frequent in hypertensives with MS than in hypertensives without MS, and this is significantly related to the increased levels of inflammation and fibrosis found in hypertensives with MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-791
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • cardiovascular damage
  • essential hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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