To evaluate the effects of long-term antihypertensive therapy with the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor lisinopril on structural alterations and the endothelial function of small resistance arteries in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy.
Fourteen patients with left ventricular hypertrophy were treated for 3 years with a lisinoprilbased regimen. Patients underwent an echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular mass index at baseline, during the first and third years of treatment. At the end of the treatment period, subcutaneous small resistance arteries (obtained by biopsy of the subcutaneous fat from the gluteal region) were dissected and mounted on a micromyograph (Mulvany's technique); the media: lumen ratio was then calculated. Data obtained were compared with those observed for 14 untreated essential hypertensive patients and 14 normotensive subjects, ageand sex-matched.
In the present study, a significantly lower media: lumen ratio was observed in treated compared with untreated hypertensive patients, although it remained significantly higher than that in normotensive subjects. In treated hypertensive patients a significant reduction in clinic blood pressure was observed. However, their blood pressure remained significantly higher than that in normotensive subjects. Significant correlations between the media: lumen ratio and blood pressure, left ventricular mass index or changes in left ventricular mass index during treatment were observed. The response to acetylcholine administration was reduced in untreated hypertensives compared with that in normotensives. In patients treated with lisinopril, the vasodilatation obtained with the two higher doses of acetylcholine was greater than that in untreated hypertensives, thus suggesting an improvement of endothelial function.
Long-term therapy based on lisinopril was associated with a smaller media: lumen ratio in the subcutaneous small resistance arteries of hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy. Our retrospective study confirms previous findings obtained in prospective studies with other angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. Endothelial function was probably improved by lisinopril therapy.