Haemodynamic responses to specific renin-angiotensin inhibitors in hypertension and congestive heart failure. A review

R J Cody


The renin-angiotensin system is an important regulator of vascular resistance in many patients with hypertension and congestive heart failure. To quantitatively evaluate this contribution requires correlation of markers of the renin-angiotensin system with haemodynamic parameters, notably blood pressure, cardiac output, and calculated systemic vascular resistance. In addition, to determine ventricular loading properties, assessment of cardiac filling pressures is also required. The availability of specific pharmacological inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system greatly enhances such correlation, as the haemodynamic consequence of blocking the renin-angiotensin system can then more fully identify its contribution. In the last decade, highly specific pharmacological inhibitors have become available to serve such a purpose. Renin inhibitory peptides, and renin-specific antibodies can block the rate-limiting step of the renin-angiotensin cascade: namely, the cleavage of 4 amino acids from the angiotensinogen substrate by renin. However, this method of blockade is still at the early stages of investigation. More readily available are converting enzyme inhibitors which block the formation of angiotensin II, the potent vasoconstric...Continue Reading


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