Activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in the promotion of cardiovascular disease and target-organ damage, mediated in part by hypertension. Combination therapy targeting RAS activation may reduce target-organ damage and provide superior blood pressure (BP) control; combining angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) represents one possible approach. In monotherapy studies, both ACE inhibitors and ARBs have demonstrated similar positive effects on BP and on RAS-related target-organ damage, including nephropathy and congestive heart failure. Studies of combination therapy, most of which involved addition of an ARB to existing ACE inhibitor therapy, have demonstrated benefits among patients with congestive heart failure and renal disease. However, variances in study design and populations, dosing and titration methods, and clinical end points, in addition to inherent differences between agents, limit the ability to reach clinically meaningful conclusions about the value of dual RAS inhibition. Trials designed to document such efficacy are currently underway.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgment: Editorial assistance for the development of this manuscript was provided by Steve Collins, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.This work was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.