Peripheral artery disease: potential role of ACE-inhibitor therapy
Giuseppe Coppola, Giuseppe Romano, Egle Corrado, Rosa Maria Grisanti, Salvatore Novo
Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular and Nephro-Urological Diseases, Chair of Cardiovascular Disease, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Abstract: Subjects with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of the lower limbs are at high risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events and the prevalence of coronary artery disease in such patients is elevated. Recent studies have shown that regular use of cardiovascular medications, such as therapeutic and preventive agents for PAD patients, seems to be promising in reducing long-term mortality and morbidity. The angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) system plays an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of atherosclerosis, and ACE-inhibitors (ACE-I) seem to have vasculoprotective and antiproliferative effects as well as a direct antiatherogenic effect. ACE-I also promote the degradation of bradykinin and the release of nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator; further, thay have shown important implications for vascular oxidative stress. Other studies have suggested that ACE-I may also improve endothelial dysfunction. ACE-I are useful for reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in clinical and subclinical PAD. Particularly, one agent of the class (ie, ramipril) has shown in many studies to able to significantly reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with PAD.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, endothelial dysfunction, ACE-inhibitors
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