Valsartan and the kidney: Review of preclinical and clinical data
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- Ruilope, L.M. Adv Therapy (2001) 18: 57. doi:10.1007/BF02852389
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In both diabetic and nondiabetic renal disease, reducing blood pressure with antihypertensive therapy has beneficial effects on renal function. The key role of the renin-angiotensin system in blood pressure and volume homeostasis has long been established, but its importance for the overall normal functioning of the kidney itself is also increasingly being recognized. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, widely and successfully used in the treatment of hypertension, may also provide renal protection independent of blood pressure reduction; however, their relatively nonspecific mode of action in blocking an early metabolic step entails major clinical disadvantages, such as accumulation of bradykinin and substance P, that may cause the characteristic ACE-inhibitor side effects of persistent dry cough and, more rarely, angioneurotic edema. Angiotensin II antagonists or receptor blockers, a new class of antihypertensive agent, selectively antagonize the AT1 receptor subtype and, because of greater specificity, do not give rise to the side effects associated with ACE inhibitors. More important, these new drugs may have mechanistic advantages over other antihypertensives, including ACE inhibitors.