Lege Artis Medicinae

[The importance of endothelial dysfunction and possibilities of its treatment in chronic heart failure]

MOHÁCSI Attila, LIZANECZ Erzsébet

AUGUST 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(08)

[Endothelial cells - under autocrine and paracrine control - may have a central role in the regulation of vascular tone. Endothelial dysfunction is a very early sign of heart failure but the clinical consequence is not well understood. Recent evidence suggests that upregulation of the neuro-endocrine-, and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system would lead to increased tissue- and circulating angiotensin-II levels. Elevated concentration of angiotensin-II provides a mechanism by which vasomotor responses to nitric oxide, prostaglandins are blunted, while the effects of vasoconstrictors such as thromboxans, endothelin and chatecholamins are enhanced. The higher basal vascular tone leads to the degeneration and atrophy of skeletal muscle, moreover to the the ischaemic damage of myocardial cells. Because renin-angiotensinaldosterone system is under genetic control, the deleterious effects of angiotensin-II depends on the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene. Pharmacological attempts to counteract endothelial dysfunction in heart failure may include the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, which can potentially improve the endothel dependent vasodilatation response. The importance of measuring endothelial function by non-invasive techniques is yet unknown, thus, before we introduce the widespread testing of patients for endothelial function, more research has to be done.]

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