Role of aliskiren in cardio-renal protection and use in hypertensives with multiple risk factors
Eduardo Pimenta1, Suzanne Oparil2
1Endocrine Hypertension Research Center and Clinical Center of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolic Disorders, University of Queensland School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, US
Abstract: The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is an important mediator of blood pressure (BP) and volume regulation in both normotensive and hypertensive persons and is a major contributor to hypertension-related target organ damage. The concept of renin inhibition for managing hypertension by blocking the RAAS pathway at its point of activation is very attractive since the renin-angiotensinogen reaction is the first and rate-limiting step in the generation of angiotensin II (Ang II). Aliskiren, the first in a new class of orally effective direct renin inhibitors (DRIs), is approved for the treatment of hypertension. It is effective in reducing BP in the general population of hypertensive patients and in special patient groups such as obese persons, and has a tolerability and safety profile similar to placebo. Aliskiren has renoprotective, cardioprotective and anti-atherosclerotic effects in animal models that appear to be independent of BP lowering. It reduces proteinuria in diabetic patients and has favorable neurohumoral effects in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Additional outcome trials are needed to establish the role of this novel class of antihypertensive medication in the therapeutic armamentarium.
Keywords: hypertension, renin inhibitors, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system
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