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Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2012 Jun;10(6):713-25. doi: 10.1586/erc.12.63.

The evolving landscape of RAAS inhibition: from ACE inhibitors to ARBs, to DRIs and beyond.

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Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, University of Florida, PO Box 100487, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Chronic renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) activation has far-reaching effects on cardiometabolic risk and is a substantial contributor to cardiovascular (CV) disease and renal dysfunction. The vascular effects of sustained RAAS activation are associated with hemodynamic imbalances, as well as inflammatory stimulation and prothrombotic processes that lead to fibrosis, endothelial dysfunction and cellular remodeling. RAAS inhibition therapies, which include the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and more recently, direct renin inhibitors, have been used in clinical practice for more than 30 years. Our understanding of how these drugs work, alone and in combination, has contributed to an expanding landscape of treatment options and established RAAS inhibition as essential for reducing the risk of CV and renal disease. This perspective provides a historical overview of how RAAS inhibitors have evolved to their present-day status and will discuss recently discovered functions for components of this complicated and powerful regulatory system.

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