Patients with end-stage renal disease on regular hemodialysis have an increased prevalence of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy that is associated with morbidity and mortality. Asymmetric septal hypertrophy and impairment of LV outflow can occur in these patients and may contribute to adverse outcomes. More insight into the prevalence, extent, geometry, and promoting factors of LV hypertrophy is important. An unselected group of 62 patients (31 women), aged 55 +/- 14 years, on maintenance hemodialysis was investigated by Doppler echocardiography. Eight patients with valvular heart disease were excluded from further analysis. We assessed prevalence of LV hypertrophy and asymmetric septal hypertrophy, as well as parameters of LV geometry and LV filling and outflow dynamics. Prevalence of LV hypertrophy was 65%. Patients were analyzed according to LV mass and geometry. Mean LV mass index was normal (105 +/- 17 g/m2) in Group 1 without LV hypertrophy (n = 19); it was markedly elevated in Group 2 (symmetric hypertrophy, n = 22) and Group 3 (asymmetric hypertrophy with systolic anterior movement of mitral valve, n = 7), and highest (191 +/- 54 g/m2) in Group 4 (asymmetric hypertrophy without systolic anterior movement of mitral valve, n = 6, p < 0.001). Age, body mass index, and duration of hypertension were associated with LV hypertrophy and asymmetric septal hypertrophy (p = 0.01). Group 3 with systolic anterior motion of mitral valve had the smallest end-diastolic LV diameters (p = 0.02); increased heart rates, and increased ejection velocities in the LV outflow tract (p = 0.03, and p = 0.005, respectively, vs. Groups 1, 2, and 4) which pointed to an impairment of LV outflow. Symmetric LV hypertrophy and asymmetric septal hypertrophy are frequent in patients on maintenance hemodialysis. Predictors for LV hypertrophy were age and body mass index, and, particularly for asymmetric septal hypertrophy, age and hypertension duration. Volume withdrawal during hemodialysis may lead to symptomatic hypotension due to dynamic obstruction in some patients with severe asymmetric septal hypertrophy.