Evidence on systolic dysfunction, as assessed by left ventricular (LV) mechanics, in hypertensive heart disease phenotyped by abnormal LV geometric patterns is still limited. Thus, we performed a systematic meta-analysis of 2D/3D speckle-tracking studies in order to provide an updated comprehensive information on this topic.
The PubMed, OVID-MEDLINE, and Cochrane library databases were analyzed to search for articles published from the inception up to 31 January 2021. Studies were identified by using MeSH terms and crossing the following search items: ‘myocardial strain’, ‘left ventricular mechanics’, ‘speckle tracking echocardiography’, ‘systolic dysfunction’, ‘hypertensive heart disease’, ‘left ventricular hypertrophy’, left ventricular remodeling”, ‘concentric hypertrophy’, ‘eccentric hypertrophy’.
Overall, data of 267 normotensive controls and 712 hypertensive patients (234 normal geometry, 97 LV concentric remodeling, 176 eccentric LVH, and 205 concentric LVH) from eight studies were considered. Pooled ejection fraction was similar in normotensives and in the whole group of hypertensive patients: (SMD 0.037 ± 0.05, confidence interval (CI): 0.14/0.07, P = 0.51) as well as in hypertensive subgroups. LVMI, and E/e’ gradually increased from hypertensive patients with normal geometry and concentric remodeling, to patients with eccentric and concentric LVH. LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) was lower in all hypertensive groups compared with normotensive controls, in particular, in the eccentric (SMD 1.14 ± 0.22, CI: 0.69/1.59, P < 0.0001) and concentric LVH group (SMD 1.37 ± 0.21, CI: 0.95/1.79, P < 0.0001). The meta-analysis restricted to hypertensive patients showed that GLS gradually deteriorated from hypertensive patients with normal LV geometry, across those with concentric remodeling, to participants with eccentric and concentric LVH (−19.5 ± 0.6 versus −18.8 ± 0.73 versus −17.6 ± 0.66 versus −16.5 ± 0.6%, P < 0.001 for trend). Statistical significance was reached when GLS of the concentric and eccentric LVH group but not the concentric remodeling was compared with the normal geometry one.
The present meta-analysis confirms that GLS performs better than ejection fraction in identifying systolic dysfunction in the hypertension setting. More importantly, it suggests that this occurs in patients with altered LV structure and geometry, such as LVH.