Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are the only therapeutic agents used in the treatement of chronic heart failure that have been shown to both improve symptoms and prolong life. These agents produce long-term haemodynamic and clinical benefits in about 60-65% of patients. The only reliable means of determining which patients are most likely to respond favourably to treatment is by a therapeutic trial; the response cannot be predicted by demographic factors, pretreatment left ventricular function or plasma renin activity. In addition to their symptomatic benefits, ACE inhibitors reduce the mortality of patients with chronic heart failure, possibly by decreasing ventricular wall stress and decreasing the frequency and complexity of ventricular arrhythmias. The most serious adverse effects of treatment, hypotension, functional renal insufficiency and potassium retention, occur most commonly in patients with the most advanced disease [New York Heart Asssociation (NYHA) class III and IV heart failure] and when efforts are made to block the formation of angiotensin (Ang) II continuously (as with the use of long-acting ACE inhibitors). The unique characteristics of the ACE inhibitors support their use as first-line agents in patients with chronic heart failure.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of hypertension|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 5|
|State||Published - 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine