The role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in the management of heart failure.Pharmacotherapy 2000; 20(11 Pt 2):368S-378SP
Numerous clinical trials have highlighted the role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAA) system in the development and progression of heart failure. Over 30 randomized, controlled trials have evaluated the effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors on morbidity and mortality in over 7,000 patients with heart failure. Cumulative evidence from these trials shows that these agents significantly reduce mortality and hospitalizations, slow disease progression, and improve exercise tolerance and New York Heart Association class. The Heart Failure Society of America guidelines recommend ACE inhibitors as standard therapy for patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. The angiotensin receptor blockers and spironolactone offer alternative and perhaps complimentary mechanisms by which the RAA system may be therapeutically manipulated. The role of these therapies in treating heart failure is discussed.