PhD Conferral Mr. drs. Bernard J. van Varik
Supervisors: prof.dr. P.W. de Leeuw, prof.dr. A.A. Kroon
Co-supervisor: dr. R.J.W.M. Rennenberg
Keywords: hypertension, blood vessel wall changes, organ damage, perfusion, arteries, physiology
"Arterial remodeling and hypertensive organ damage; Clinical studies in patients with essential hypertension"
Hypertension is not only an important and common risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but can also cause damage to other organs. This study focusses on the role arterial wall changes play in the development of hypertension and organ damage. The study showed that carotid artery wall changes occur prior to the development of hypertension. It was also shown that changes in kidney perfusion could be measured in young people with mild hypertension and arteries of this group of people had become more rigid compared to those of people with low blood pressure. We also discovered that kidney function in elderly people with rigid blood vessels deteriorates more rapidly each year compared to that of people without such blood vessel wall changes. These results confirm that blood vessel wall changes play an important role in the development of hypertension. Slowing down the process of blood vessel wall change may lead to new treatments for hypertension and cardiovascular disease.