Since their introduction in clinical practice in 1980, ACE inhibitors have been found useful in the treatment of hypertension and CHF. In hypertension, they are effective as monotherapy in 40% to 50% of the patients, and in combination with diuretics or calcium antagonists, they are effective in up to 85% of the patients. They are well tolerated, are not associated with depression, impotence, bronchospasm or metabolic derangements such as hypokalemia, hyperuricemia or hyperglycemia, and do not have adverse effects on the quality of life. As a result, they are preferred in hypertensive patients with CHF, left ventricular dysfunction, mental depression, older age, coronary artery disease, metabolic disorders, chronic destructive pulmonary disease, and peripheral vascular disease. In CHF they cause long-lasting hemodynamic and symptomatic improvement, improve exercise tolerance, and may lower mortality in certain patient subsets. Evolving new indications for ACE inhibitors include the diagnosis of renovascular hypertension, the prediction of surgical success, the treatment of scleroderma renal crisis, the reduction of proteinuria, renal protection, cardioprotection, the improvement of arterial compliance, in Bartter's syndrome and idiopathic edema, etc. ACE inhibitors are usually well tolerated but in some instances they may cause class-specific side effects such as hypotension; usually reversible azotemia or renal failure, especially in patients with renal artery stenosis or with CHF with low blood pressure; cough; angioedema; and hyperkalemia. Differences among ACE inhibitors are emerging and include chemical class (e.g., zinc ligand), biotransformation, potency, pharmacokinetics, prodrugs, tissue effects, additional pharmacologic properties, and drug interactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine