Lege Artis Medicinae

[ANGIOTENSIN-CONVERTING ENZYME INHIBITORS AND ANGIOTENSIN-2 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS IN CHRONIC HEART FAILURE]

ZÁMOLYI Károly

JULY 14, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(06-07)

[The rennin-angiotensin system plays a major role in cardiovascular diseases. In the past decade, extensive research investigated the possible clinical benefit of the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in various clinical conditions. Their benefits have been clearly demonstrated in many cardiovascular conditions and agreement as to their potential usefulness has been established in chronic heart failure, asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction, acute myocardial infarction and hypertension, and in the primary prevention in patients with high risk for cardiovascular events. Numerous randomised clinical trials over the past two decades established their efficacy in reducing adverse outcomes (mortality, hospitalitazion, and physical limitation) in patients with heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Based on these results, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are indicated in all patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction regardless of etiology, in the absence of intolerance or a contraindication. Despite the recent improvements in the treatment of heart failure, mortality remains high, with approximately 50% patients dead at five years. Although angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors decrease mortality, they incompletely suppress angiotenzin-2 when used chronically. Since angiotensin receptor blockers block the biologic effects of angiotenzin-2 more completely than angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be beneficial in the treatment of heart failure. In comparison trials, angiotensin receptor blockers were found to have no benefit over angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy. Thus, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors should remain first-line treatment for heart failure. However, in case of intolerance, angiotensin receptor blocker therapy is a reasonable substitute and provides excellent tolerability.]

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