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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 7

of 'Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in acute myocardial infarction: Mechanisms of action'

Development and prevention of congestive heart failure following myocardial infarction.
Pfeffer MA, Pfeffer JM, Lamas GA
Circulation. 1993;87(5 Suppl):IV120.
Ischemic heart disease is the major etiology for the development of congestive heart failure. Patients with acute myocardial infarction have a greatly increased risk for mortality and for manifesting symptomatic heart failure. This risk is not a uniform one but is greatly augmented in patients with a more extensive infarction and, consequently, a more depressed global ventricular function. An important concept that was derived from studies in rats with myocardial infarction and has been confirmed in patients is that ventricular enlargement, which has been shown to be a marker for an adverse outcome, can be a progressive process that leads to further deterioration of ventricular performance. Both experimental and early clinical studies have indicated that chronic therapy with an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor may attenuate this progressive ventricular enlargement. More definitive clinical trials are currently under way to determine whether this form of therapy, which may diminish the extent of ventricular enlargement over time, will result in an improvement in survival and in the prevention of the development of congestive heart failure. The addition of this pharmacological therapy to that of the primary prevention of atherosclerosis and that of the limitation of infarct size should make a substantial impact on the reduction of the incidence of congestive heart failure.
Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02115.