Objective: Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is important for the early diagnosis of masked hypertension. In present study, we aimed to determine the frequency of target organ damage in masked hypertension and establish a follow-up strategy in the early-stage for children.
Methods: The study population consisted of children and adolescents who were referred to our clinic for evaluation of suspected hypertension. A total of 120 children and adolescents aged 6 -17 years were investigated. Office blood pressure measurements were performed in all patients. Patients’ hypertension was evaluated with regard to target organ damage. Measurements were performed using Vicorder device. Patients underwent 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
Results: ABPM revealed that 82 of 120 patients had hypertension. Hypertension was detected in 59 of 120 patients, by conventional blood pressure measurements. The frequency of masked hypertension was 42.7% (n=44), white coat hypertension 20.3% (n=21), and high ambulatory blood pressure was 36.8% (n=38). Increased carotid intima-media thickness was most frequently observed during the evaluation of early vascular changes in patients. We identified hypertensive retinopathy in 29 patients (24%), microalbuminuria in 21 (20.4%), and increased left ventricular mass index in 13 patients (10.8%). The frequency of hypertensive retinopathy was high, and increased carotid intima-media thickness and augmentation index were more common in masked hypertension.
Conclusion: In this study, higher frequency of masked hypertension was found in children than reported in the literature.