Hypertensive Heart Disease

Hypertensive heart disease is a heart condition that arises due to high blood pressure, which can lead to severe heart problems like thickening of heart muscles, coronary artery diseases, heart failure, and other heart conditions. It is the most common cause of death from high blood pressure. 


Hypertensive heart disease can be classified into two types: 

  • Narrowing of the blood vessels: Increased pressure inside the wall of arteries causes narrowing of the blood vessels. This condition affects the normal functioning of the heart. The blood flow to the heart may slow or even stop, and can result in a condition known as coronary artery disease or heart attack. 
  • Thickening and enlargement of the heart: Due to increased blood pressure, the heart finds it difficult to pump blood normally. The regular and repeated hard work affects the heart muscles causing thickening and enlargement. These changes in the heart affect the normal pumping action and can cause conditions like left ventricular hypertrophy (enlarged heart - LVH). LVH ultimately compresses the arteries and the surrounding structure of the heart. This can result in heart failure, arrhythmia, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. 


Hypertensive heart disease occurs as a result of long-term uncontrolled high blood pressure. High blood pressure means the pressure inside the blood vessels is too high. Most patients do not know if they are suffering from hypertension. They do not have symptoms until late in the course when complications arise. 


Hypertensive heart disease is typically not described in various stages. The condition usually progresses from minor changes to major changes in the heart and can lead to the following sequence: increased wall stress leads to left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), which leads to diastolic LV dysfunction. This can be followed by systolic LV dysfunction. 


Laboratory tests are important for detecting the root cause of hypertension and the severity of the organ damage. Following tests are included: 

  • Electrocardiogram – It monitors and records the heart’s electrical activity. The doctor will attach patches to the patient’s chest, legs, and arms. The results will be visible on a screen, and the doctor will interpret them. 


  • Echocardiogram -It gives a detailed picture of the patient’s heart using ultrasound. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) may be very useful. 


  • Coronary angiography- It checks the flow of blood through the coronary arteries. 


  • Exercise stress test - It looks at how exercise affects the heart. Patients are asked to pedal an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill. 


  • Nuclear stress test – It examines the flow of blood into the heart. The test is usually conducted while the patient is resting and exercising. 

Other tests include urinalysis, blood glucose and hematocrit levels, lipid profile, serum potassium, creatinine (or the corresponding estimated glomerular filtration rate [GFR]), and calcium measurements. 


The treatment of hypertensive heart disease depends on the patient’s age, the severity of illness, and medical history. Common medications used are calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors to help lower blood pressure, aspirin, and statins. Services and therapies for severe heart conditions include implantation of a pacemaker, cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), a heart transplant or other heart-assisting devices. 

In conclusion, if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of hypertension, it is important to seek medical attention from a cardiologist as soon as possible. The Cardiology Department of Sterling Hospitals Gurukul Ahmedabad is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and experienced cardiologists who can provide accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for hypertensive heart disease. Contact the Cardiology Department of Sterling Hospitals Gurukul Ahmedabad today to schedule a consultation with one of our expert cardiologists.