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J Endocrinol Invest. 2003 Aug;26(8):788-98.

Aldosterone receptor antagonists: biology and novel therapeutical applications.

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  • 1Institute of Endocrinology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy. paolo.magni@unimi.it

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that a dysregulation of the aldosterone system is involved in the pathophysiology of different cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial failure and several cases of essential hypertension. In both rat models and in humans, aldosterone action has been shown to induce heart remodeling and interstitial and perivascular fibrosis of the myocardium. For these reasons, a rationale for the use of aldosterone antagonists (ARAs) of the spirolactone family, which have been available for decades in the treatment of aldosterone excess syndromes, has now emerged. Moreover, the recent validation of their use, in combination with the current therapy, for the treatment of these cardiovascular diseases by trials like the RALES Study has further strenghtened this approach. The development of compounds, like eplerenone, with a greater selectivity for mineralocorticoid receptors, seems promising also in terms of reduction of endocrine side effects. The addition of aldosterone antagonists to the conventional therapy of myocardial failure and of selected cases of hypertension thus appears beneficial, resulting in an improved survival rate and a reduced incidence of cardiac complications. This review article, after a brief recall of the physiology of the aldosterone system, addresses the emerging role of aldosterone in cardiovascular diseases, considers the pharmacology of ARAs and the novel therapeutical applications of these compounds in hypertension and heart failure.

PMID:
14669838
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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