Introduction: Target organ damage (TOD) can be evaluated in outpatient clinics and offers valuable information about patient's cardiovascular risk. Clinical evidence supported the possibility that serum uric acid (SUA) may lead to hypertension. Carotid intima–media thickness (carotid IMT) measured noninvasively by ultrasonography is now widely used as a surrogate marker for atherosclerosis.
Goal: to investigate the association of SUA with markers of target organ damage like carotid IMT and microalbuminuria in hypertensive patients and to observe the distribution of SUA levels considering one, two, three or more TOD.
Material and methods: The study was conducted on a sample of 182 hypertensive patients. They underwent extensive clinical, laboratory, and ultrasonographic investigations searching for cardiac, vascular and renal TOD. The patients were divided into four groups as follows: no TOD (Group I, n=24); 1 TOD (Group II, n=50); 2 TOD (Group III, n=40); and ≥ 3 TOD (Group IV, n=48). Carotid IMT was performed using high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography according to Mannheim Consensus.
Results: Uric acid was directly associated with the number of affected organs. Uric acid was significantly higher in the group IV versus group III (p<0.001), in the group III versus group II, p<0.001) and in the group II versus group I (p<0.001). Carotid IMT was also directly associated with the number of affected organs. The value of carotid IMT was significantly higher in the group IV versus group III (p<0.001), in the group III versus group II, (p<0.001) and in the group II versus group I (p<0.001). We obtained a strong significantly correlation between serum uric acid levels and carotid IMT (r=0.86, p<0.001) and between carotid IMT and microalbuminuria (r=0.74, p<0.001).
Conclusion: The study showed that increased values of SUA and carotid IMT are associated with the number of TOD, thus SUA and carotid IMT may be considered indicators for evaluating TOD.
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