Myocardial strain in hypertension: a meta-analysis of two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiographic studies

Marijana Tadic, Carla Sala, Stefano Carugo, Giuseppe Mancia, Guido Grassi, Cesare Cuspidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: Available evidence on systolic dysfunction in systemic hypertension, as assessed by left ventricular (LV) mechanics, is still based on single studies. Thus, we performed a systematic meta-analysis of two-dimensional speckle-tracking studies in order to provide an updated comprehensive information on this issue. METHODS: The PubMed, OVID-MEDLINE, and Cochrane library databases were analyzed to search English language articles published from the inception up to 31 December 2020. Studies were identified by using MeSH terms and crossing the following search items: 'myocardial strain', 'left ventricular mechanics', 'speckle tracking echocardiography', 'systolic dysfunction', 'hypertensive heart disease', 'systemic hypertension', 'essential hypertension'. RESULTS: Data from 4276 individuals (2089 normotensive controls and 2187 mostly uncomplicated hypertensive patients) were included. Left ventricular (LV) mass index, relative wall thickness, left atrial volume index and E/e' ratio were significantly higher in hypertensive patients than in normotensive controls. LV ejection fraction did not differ in the two pooled groups (SMD -0.048 ± 0.054, 95% CI -0.20 to 0.10, P = 0.30), whereas LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) was significantly impaired in the hypertensive group (SMD: 1.07 ± 0. 15, 95% CI 0.77-1.36, P < 0.0001). Similar findings were obtained in a sub-analysis restricted to 15 studies in which mean age was similar in cases and controls (SMD 1.21 ± 0.23, 95% CI 0.76-1.67, P = 0.002). CONCLUSION: The present meta-analysis suggests that GLS assessment unmasks systolic dysfunction undetected by conventional ejection fraction in the uncomplicated hypertension setting and that this parameter should be incorporated into routine work-up aimed to identify hypertension-mediated cardiac damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2103-2112
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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