Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Hypertensive Children and Adolescents: Predictors and Prevalence
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Left ventricular hypertrophy is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adults. In children, the primary correlate of left ventricular mass (LVM) is lean body mass, but fat mass, gender and systolic blood pressure are also contributors. LVM can be estimated from echocardiographic measurements, and by indexing this allometrically to height to the 2.7 power, the left ventricular mass index (LVMI) can be calculated. LVMI optimizes detection of left ventricular hypertrophy with established normal curves for children from birth to 18 years. In children with sustained hypertension, 8–41 % have LVMI above the 95th percentile and in 10–15.5 % of these, LVMI is elevated above levels associated with increased mortality in adults. The presence of obesity is associated with higher LVMI than is found in children with hypertension alone. In children with chronic kidney disease, left ventricular hypertrophy develops relatively early and becomes more prevalent as kidney function decreases. In summary, left ventricular hypertrophy is a sensitive marker of target organ damage in children with BP elevation, obesity and chronic kidney disease providing important management information.