Influence of the Angiotensin II Antagonist Valsartan on Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Patients With Essential Hypertension
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To the Editor:
The recent article by Thürmann et al1 is of substantial interest in documenting efficacy of a relatively new angiotensin II antagonist for reduction of left ventricular mass in hypertensive patients. However, some features of the study cast doubts on the validity of the results. Moreover, misstatements of fact concerning existing literature further impair the interpretation of these data.
Although the authors report the efficacy of valsartan for regression of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), in fact, only the mean reduction of left ventricular (LV) mass is reported rather than the number of individuals with LVH who had sufficient reductions of LV mass to revert to normal. More importantly, despite the emphasis on the efficacy of valsartan, the investigators’ data indicate that LV mass was reduced with atenolol as well. It is unclear whether the reduction of LV mass with atenolol was significantly less than that with valsartan. It can be questioned whether the ≈10 g average difference …