Although the aldosterone escape mechanism is well known, aldosterone has often been neglected in the pathophysiologic consequences of the activated renin-angiotensinaldosterone system in arterial hypertension and chronic heart failure. There is now evidence for vascular synthesis of aldosterone aside from its secretion by the adrenal cortex. Moreover, aldosterone is involved in vascular smooth muscle cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia, as well as in vascular matrix impairment and endothelial dysfunction. The mechanisms of action of aldosterone may be either delayed (genomic) or rapid (nongenomic). Deleterious effects of aldosterone leading to vascular target-organ damage include (besides salt and water retention) decreased arterial and venous compliance, increased peripheral vascular resistance, and impaired autonomic vascular control due to baroreflex dysfunction.