Left ventricular hypertrophy, a known consequence of hypertension, is associated with an excess mortality independent of other known cardiovascular risk factors. There are multiple mechanisms in which left ventricular hypertrophy may account for this excess mortality including increased incidence of arrhythmias, systolic an diastolic dysfunction, relative ischemia, and associated coronary artery disease. Diastolic dysfunction, manifested by reduced ventricular distensibility of the hypertrophic left ventricle, appears to be an early characteristic of the hypertensive heart since echocardiographic techniques have demonstrated diastolic filling abnormalities in untreated essential hypertensives even before significant left ventricular hypertrophy appears. The presence of left ventricular hypertrophy is difficult to detect by electrocardiography. Echocardiography seems to be the best non-invasive method for the detection of hypertensive heart disease: it shows early abnormalities of left ventricular compliance, frequently left ventricular hypertrophy and late abnormalities of myocardial contractility.