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Valsartan in the treatment of heart attack survivors

Authors Bodh I Jugdutt

Published 15 June 2006 Volume 2006:2(2) Pages 125—138

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Bodh I Jugdutt

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Abstract: Survivors of myocardial infarction (MI) are at high risk of disability and death. This is due to infarct-related complications such as heart failure, cardiac remodeling with progressive ventricular dilation, dysfunction, and hypertrophy, and arrhythmias including ventricular and atrial fibrillation. Angiotensin (Ang) II, the major effector molecule of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) is a major contributor to these complications. RAAS inhibition, with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were first shown to reduce mortality and morbidity after MI. Subsequently, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), that produce more complete blockade of the effects of Ang II at the Ang II type 1 (AT1) receptor, were introduced and the ARB valsartan was shown to be as effective as an ACE inhibitor in reducing mortality and morbidity in high-risk post-MI suvivors with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction and and/or heart failure and in heart failure patients, respectively, in two major trials (VALIANT and Val-HeFT). Both these trials used an ACE inhibitor as comparator on top of background therapy. Evidence favoring the use of valsartan for secondary prevention in post-MI survivors is reviewed.

Keywords: valsartan, myocardial infarction, infarct survivors, remodeling, heart failure

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