Resistive index of renal artery and blood pressure in postmenopausal women


      Causal association between perimenopausal changes and symptoms and disease is commonly accepted even if not definitely explained. Resistive index (RI) of renal artery assessed by Doppler echography is related to renal function and systemic circulatory adaptation in patients with chronic renal failure and hypertension. Echocardiographic measurement of left ventricular myocardial mass (LVMM) is a useful tool for assessing effects of arterial hypertension on heart. Aim of the study was to assess RI in normotensive postmenopausal women and relationship, if any, with blood pressure and LVMM. We studied 28 normotensive, non-obese postmenopausal women, age 52.21±5.40 years, with normal creatinine clearance. Renal colour-Doppler echography was performed assessing intra-parenchimal renal artery mean velocity (mVRA) and intra-parenchimal RI [(peak systolic velocity−end diastolic velocity)/peak systolic velocity]. Echocardiography was performed as well. RI of intra-parenchimal renal artery is 0.67±0.05 and it shows correlations vs. diastolic blood pressure (r=0.41; P<0.03) and vs. mean BP (r=0.47; P<0.01). LVMM has correlation (r=0.41; P>0.03) with RI. Age, body weight, body mass index, menarche age, fertility years and postmenopausal years do not show correlation with RI. Heart rate, creatinine clearance, hemoglobin, serum albumin do not show any correlation with RI. Higher RI is associated with alcohol intake, liver steatosis, biliary gallstones and family history of diabetes mellitus, but not with postmenopausal years, unrespective of surgical or non-surgical menopause. Among echocardiographic measurements only LVMM is correlated with RI; mVRA does not show correlation. LVMM and BP do not show other independent correlation except that the one already reported vs. RI. RI, as a pathophysiological measurement whose increase preludes to arterial hypertension, could help to ascertain perimenopausal women at risk for arterial hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy, but does not seem directly associated with the loss of ovarian function.


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