, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 341-344
Date: 08 May 2010

Role of the Renin-Angiotensin System in Cardiovascular Disease

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Cardiovascular disease has a long natural history that begins pathophysiologically with endothelial dysfunction resulting in impaired bioactivity of nitric oxide [1] (Fig. 1). The progression of disease in the artery wall and in the left ventricular myocardium may be associated with elevated blood pressure and is characterized by structural changes in the arteries, especially those perfusing the myocardium, brain, kidneys and the lower extremities [2]. This atherosclerotic process, especially if accompanied by hypertension, also causes progressive structural changes in the left ventricle that may result in heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden death [3]. Fig. 1

The natural history of cardiovascular disease begins with genetic and environmental factors causing endothelial dysfunction. Vascular and cardiac structural abnormalities result from the impairment of nitric oxide bioactivity and are aggravated by hypertension and myocardial dysfunction related to coronary disease