Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kirkuk University


Background: Left ventricular hypertrophy is an important complication of hypertension and is considered an important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Objectives: To estimate the frequency of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in our hypertensive population, to compare between electrocardiography and echocardiography in the detection of left ventricular hypertrophy and to study the main risk factors for its development. Patient and Method: One hundred twenty five hypertensive patients underwent standard electrocardiographic (ECG) and echocardiographic (echo) examination using internationally accepted formula for the detection of left ventricular hypertrophy. Result: The echo (echocardiographic) finding of LVH was seen in 103 patients (82.4%). The geometrical types of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), as detected by echo were as follow concentric left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) was present in 63 patients (50.4%), eccentric LVH was present in 27 patients (21.6%) and concentric remodeling was present in 13 patients(10.4%). The ECG detects LVH in 58 patients (46.4%). Comparing ECG with echo for detection of LVH shows that ECG has a lower sensitivity and specificity than echo. There was no statistically significant difference regarding age, gender, duration of hypertension, history of diabetes mellitus (DM) or ischemic heart diseases (IHD), family history of IHD, smoking or obesity. There was a statistically significant association between high blood pressure (uncontrolled hypertension) and the presence of LVH. Conclusion: It was found that there is high prevalence of LVH in our hypertensive patients and echo is more sensitive and specific for detection of LVH. Since most of our patients have uncontrolled hypertension we recommend aggressive management of hypertension to reach the target level of blood pressure.