Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) associates with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Hypertension leads to LVH in adults, but its role in the pathogenesis of LVH in children is not as well established. To examine left ventricular mass and evaluate factors associated with LVH in children with stages 2 through 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD), we analyzed cross-sectional data from children who had baseline echocardiography (n = 366) and underwent ambulatory BP monitoring (n = 226) as a part of the observational Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) cohort study. At baseline, 17% of children had LVH (11% eccentric and 6% concentric) and 9% had concentric remodeling of the left ventricle. On the basis of a combination of ambulatory and casual BP assessment (n = 198), 38% of children had masked hypertension (normal casual but elevated ambulatory BP) and 18% had confirmed hypertension (both elevated casual and ambulatory BP). There was no significant association between LVH and kidney function. LVH was more common in children with either confirmed (34%) or masked (20%) hypertension compared with children with normal casual and ambulatory BP (8%). In multivariable analysis, masked (odds ratio 4.1) and confirmed (odds ratio 4.3) hypertension were the strongest independent predictors of LVH. In conclusion, casual BP measurements alone are insufficient to predict the presence of LVH in children with CKD. The high prevalence of masked hypertension and its association with LVH supports early echocardiography and ambulatory BP monitoring to evaluate cardiovascular risk in children with CKD.
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