The onset of AF results in a significant increase in mortality rates and morbidity in hypertensive patients and this rhythm disorder exposes patients to a significantly increased risk of cerebral or peripheral embolisms. Tissue Doppler imaging was found to be useful in early detection of myocardial dysfunction in several diseases. It was shown that tissue Doppler analysis of the walls of the left atrial appendage (LAA) can give accurate information about the function of the LAA in hypertensive patients. In this study, we aimed to investigate and identify the specific predictive parameters for the onset of AF in patients with hypertension with tissue Doppler imaging of LAA. We studied age and sex matched 57 untreated hypertensive patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) and 27 untreated hypertensive subjects without PAF. With transthoracic echocardiography, diastolic mitral A-velocity and LA maximal volume index which reflects reservoir function of left atrium was measured, with transesophageal echocardiography, LAA emptying velocity (LAA-PW D2) and tissue Doppler contracting velocity of LAA (LAA-TDI-D2) were measured. LA maximal volume index of the groups (22.28 +/- 3.59 mL/m(2) in Group 1 versus 20.37 +/- 3.97 mL/m(2) in Group 2, p = 0.07) and diastolic mitral A-velocity [0.93 (0.59-1.84) m/s in patients with PAF versus 0.90 (0.62-1.76) m/s in patients without PAF, p = 0.26] was not significantly different between study groups, during TEE, LAA-PW D2 (0.31 +/- 0.04 m/s in Group 1 versus 0.33 +/- 0.03 m/s in Group 2, p = 0.034) and LAA-TDI-D2 (0.18 +/- 0.04 m/s in Group 1 versus 0.21 +/- 0.05 m/s in Group 2, p = 0.014) were significantly decreased in Group 1. In this study, we found that in hypertensive PAF patients despite normal global LA functions, LAA contracting function was deteriorated. Tissue Doppler analysis of LAA is clinically usefull approach to detect the risk of developing PAF in hypertensives.