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Circulation. 1999 Mar 2;99(8):990-2.

Addition of angiotensin II receptor blockade to maximal angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition improves exercise capacity in patients with severe congestive heart failure.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Medicine, Divisions of Cardiology, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Incomplete suppression of the renin-angiotensin system during long-term ACE inhibition may contribute to symptomatic deterioration in patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF). Combined angiotensin II type I (AT1) receptor blockade and ACE inhibition more completely suppresses the activated renin-angiotensin system than either intervention alone in sodium-depleted normal individuals. Whether AT1 receptor blockade with losartan improves exercise capacity in patients with severe CHF already treated with ACE inhibitors is unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Thirty-three patients with severe CHF despite treatment with maximally recommended or tolerated doses of ACE inhibitors were randomized 1:1 to receive 50 mg/d losartan or placebo for 6 months in addition to standard therapy in a multicenter, double-blind trial. Peak aerobic capacity (V(O2)) during symptom-limited treadmill exercise and NYHA functional class were determined at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of double-blind therapy. Peak V(O2) at baseline and after 3 and 6 months were 13.5+/-0.6, 15.1+/-1.0, and 15.7+/-1.1 mL. kg-1. min-1, respectively, in patients receiving losartan and 14.1+/-0.6, 14.3+/-0.9, and 13.6+/-1.1 mL. kg-1. min-1, respectively, in patients receiving placebo (P<0.02 for treatment group-by-time interaction). Functional class improved by at least one NYHA class in 9 of 16 patients receiving losartan and 1 of 17 patients receiving placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

Losartan enhances peak exercise capacity and alleviates symptoms in patients with CHF who are severely symptomatic despite treatment with maximally recommended or tolerated doses of ACE inhibitors.

PMID:
10051289
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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