Forty-one participants (mean age 69 +/- 5.6 years) were examined by fully automatic blood pressure monitor and Doppler echocardiography to gain information on the ambulatory blood pressure and the left ventricular structure and function in isolated systolic hypertension. Cumulative sum (cusum)-derived statistics was used to quantify circadian blood pressure rhythm and 24-h blood pressure levels were defined as mean blood pressure values during 24 h, waking (06:00-22:00 h) and sleeping (22:00-06:00 h) periods, respectively. Most of the derivatives of ambulatory blood pressure, including cusum-derived statistics and 24-h blood pressure levels, were significantly related with the left ventricular structural (left ventricular posterior wall and interventricular septum thickness) and functional (acceleration time in the left ventricular outflow tract and early diastolic deceleration time) indexes. Among the left ventricular structural and functional indexes, interventricular septum thickness at end diastole had the strongest correlation with sleeping diastolic mean blood pressure (r = 0.41, P < 0.01), left ventricular posterior wall at end diastole, the best with 24-h systolic mean blood pressure (r = 0.41, P < 0.01), acceleration time the strongest with systolic cusum-derived circadian alteration magnitude (r = 0.49, P < 0.01) and early diastolic deceleration time the greatest with diastolic cusum-derived trough blood pressure (r = 0.45, P < 0.01). We conclude that left ventricular structural changes rely on 24-h systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, whereas left ventricular functional variations may be more dependent upon circadian blood pressure rhythm in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension.