Left ventricular topography and diastolic and systolic functions were studied in 41 patients with essential hypertension (group 1) and 33 age-matched normal adults (group 2) by Doppler echocardiography. In group 1 54% had LV concentric hypertrophy, 19% had combined concentric hypertrophy and eccentric remodeling, and 27% had concentric remodeling. LV systolic function was within the normal range. In concentric LV remodeling, the EDV was significantly decreased (compared with group 2) (84 ± 15 vs 130 ± 38 ml, p < 0.05), whereas the NPFR was normal (2.89 ± 0.65 vs 3.22 ± 0.83 sec-1, p = NS). In concentric hypertrophy, LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes were normal, but the NPFR was decreased (2.04 ± 0.59 sec-1). Patients with concentric hypertrophy and eccentric remodeling had the largest end-diastolic (140 ± 48 ml) and end-systolic (62 ± 32 ml) volumes and the lowest NPFR (1.67 ± 0.69 sec-1). The LVMI inversely correlated with the NPFR (r = -0.89, p < 0.0001). Thus LV concentric hypertrophy with or without concentric or eccentric remodeling is seen in patients with systemic hypertension. A decrease in peak filling occurs early in the evolution of hypertensive heart disease and is observed even when systolic performance is still normal. © 1994.