Particularities of Coronary Artery Disease in Hypertensive Patients with Left Bundle Branch Block
Objective: We mean to investigate whether the presence of hypertension could be associated with a more severe atherosclerotic coronary artery disease in patients with left bundle branch block.
Material and methods: To assess the current incidence and meaning of hypertension associated with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease we performed a cross-sectional analysis that included 402 patients with left bundle branch block, admitted between January 2011 and June 2013 in the Cardiovascular Diseases Institute Iasi, Romania. Of these, 194 were hypertensive, especially grade 1 and 2; 272 patients had new or presumably new left bundle branch block on their presenting electrocardiograms. The median follow up was 7 days (hospitalization period).
Results: The results of our study show that hypertensive patients were more likely to have a prior history of cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, diabetes and obesity, with statistically significant differences. On the other hand, the normotensive patients had higher rates of current and previous smoking and congestive heart failure. Conventional coronary angiography was performed in 130 (67.01%) hypertensive patients and demonstrated that almost half (41.76%) of them have coronary artery disease, one in five patients being diagnosed with acute coronary syndromes. The majority of hypertensive patients evaluated by coronary angiography had either one or two coronary lesions (28.86%); in contrast, from 110 normotensive patients evaluated by coronary angiography, 78.36% had no vessel disease (p = 0.001). When coronary artery disease was present it was frequently localized on the left descendent artery in both groups, but with statistically significant differences (16.82% in normotensives vs. 32.47% in hypertensives, p = 0.001). With regards to systolic left ventricular function, normotensive patients were more likely to have a decreased ejection fraction (EF) <50% (p <0.001), almost half of them having an EF <30%.
Conclusions: We have found that hypertensive patients with left bundle branch block and a clinical context suggestive of acute coronary syndrome have an elevated risk of coronary artery disease, especially one and two coronary lesions. The association of hypertension with left bundle branch block is a high probability criterion for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, even in asymptomatic patients.