oa South African Family Practice - The detection of left ventricular hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction : SA Hypertension Society Supplement

Volume 54, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



All guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hypertension recommend that electrocardiographic (ECG) evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is sought for accurate risk assessment. The presence of ECG patterns that fulfill the criteria for LVH suggest a > 20% absolute 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and is a compelling indication for the use of antihypertensives that block the renin angiotensin system. Many guidelines also suggest that an echocardiogram is performed to confirm or refute the presence of LVH suggested by ECG criteria. However, in South Africa, access to echocardiography is costly and limited. However, echocardiography may be a critically important tool in the care of the hypertensive patient with LVH who presents with dyspnoea, when the cause is not obvious. These patients may have heart failure caused by diastolic dysfunction.

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