, Volume 10, Issue 2 Supplement, pp 639-647

Cardioprotective effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in patients with coronary artery disease

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Clinical and experiments study with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors suggest that these agents may improve coronary artery disease by acting at multiple sites in the series of events leading to end-stage heart disease. These agents reduce blood pressure, improve prognosis and symptoms in patients with severe heart failure and in patients after acute myocardial infarction with left ventricular dysfunction. They are useful in the early, acute phase of myocardial infarction. More recently, ACE inhibitors have been shown to reduce in vitro vascular hypertrophy, to attenuate arteriosclerosis, and to maintain endothelium function. Whether these effects occur at clinical levels is still uncertain. The exciting clinical data have led to the proposal that alteration of ACE activity, particularly in tissue, is an important factor in development and progression of CAD. The ACE system is complex, with endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine effects. ACE is present in cardiac and vascular tissue. Therefore, the beneficial effects of ACE inhibitors can be classified as “cardio” and “vasculo” protective. This article summarizes a number of independent and complementary mechanisms pointing to a role of ACE and ACE inhibition in coronary artery disease.