Objectives: Cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1) induces hypertrophic growth and contractile dysfunction in cardiomyocytes. This cross-sectional study was aimed to analyze CT-1 associations with echocardiographically assessed left ventricular systolic properties taking into account the influence of left ventricular growth [i.e. left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and inappropriate left ventricular mass (iLVM)] in asymptomatic hypertensive patients.
Methods: Serum CT-1 was measured by ELISA in 278 asymptomatic hypertensive patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction more than 50% and in 25 age and sex-matched normotensive patients.
Results: Serum CT-1 was increased in hypertensive patients as compared to normotensive patients. CT-1 was directly correlated with parameters of left ventricular mass (LVM) and inversely correlated with parameters assessing myocardial systolic function and left ventricular chamber contractility in hypertensive patients, these associations being independent of a number of potential confounding factors. Interestingly, the associations of CT-1 with myocardial systolic function were independent of LVM even in patients with LVH or iLVM. In addition, there was a significant increment of serum CT-1 in hypertensive patients with LVH or iLVM, especially in those in whom LVH or iLVM were accompanied by impaired myocardial systolic function, as compared to the remaining hypertensive patients and normotensive patients. Plasma amino-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide was not correlated with any of the assessed left ventricular systolic parameters in either group of patients.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that serum CT-1 is associated with myocardial systolic dysfunction in asymptomatic hypertensive patients, independently of LVM, even in those patients with pathologic left ventricular growth.