Back to Journals » Integrated Blood Pressure Control » Volume 6

Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists: emerging roles in cardiovascular medicine

Authors Funder JW

Received 24 January 2013

Accepted for publication 8 April 2013

Published 4 October 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 129—138

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IBPC.S13783

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Video abstract presented by John W Funder

Views: 366

John W Funder

Prince Henry's Institute, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Abstract: Spironolactone was first developed over 50 years ago as a potent mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist with undesirable side effects; it was followed a decade ago by eplerenone, which is less potent but much more MR-specific. From a marginal role as a potassium-sparing diuretic, spironolactone was shown to be an extraordinarily effective adjunctive agent in the treatment of progressive heart failure, as was eplerenone in subsequent heart failure trials. Neither acts as an aldosterone antagonist in the heart as the cardiac MR are occupied by cortisol, which becomes an aldosterone mimic in conditions of tissue damage. The accepted term “MR antagonist”, (as opposed to “aldosterone antagonist” or, worse, “aldosterone blocker”), should be retained, despite the demonstration that they act not to deny agonist access but as inverse agonists. The prevalence of primary aldosteronism is now recognized as accounting for about 10% of hypertension, with recent evidence suggesting that this figure may be considerably higher: in over two thirds of cases of primary aldosteronism therapy including MR antagonists is standard of care. MR antagonists are safe and vasoprotective in uncomplicated essential hypertension, even in diabetics, and at low doses they also specifically lower blood pressure in patients with so-called resistant hypertension. Nowhere are more than 1% of patients with primary aldosteronism ever diagnosed and specifically treated. Given the higher risk profile in patients with primary aldosteronism than that of age, sex, and blood pressure matched essential hypertension, on public health grounds alone the guidelines for first-line treatment of all hypertension should mandate inclusion of a low-dose MR antagonist.

Keywords: spironolactone, eplerenone, primary aldosteronism, public health, inverse agonists

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]