, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 295-298

Rationale and design of the SMART Heart study

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Abstract

Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure, coronary heart disease and stroke. LVH develops in response to haemodynamic overload, e.g. hypertension. LVH was originally thought to start as an adaptive and beneficial response required to normalise wall stress. However, this concept has been challenged by recent animal experiments suggesting that any degree of LVH is detrimental for the preservation of cardiac function and survival. If confirmed in humans, these findings imply that an increase in LV mass should be prevented, e.g. by lifestyle or pharmacological interventions. To facilitate and optimise interventions, the SMART Heart study was recently set up to develop a prediction model, also involving single nucleotide polymorphism data, for the identification of subjects at high risk of developing LVH in hypertension. For this purpose 1000 subjects with chronic hypertension will undergo cardiac MR imaging. In addition, this study allows the extrapolation of animal experimental genetic research into the human situation. (Neth Heart J 2007;15:295-8).

Departments of Cardiology and Radiology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Department of Radiology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Department of Cardiology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlandson behalf of the SMART Study Group
P.A. Doevendans Department of Cardiology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, the Netherlands