Effects of chronic ACE inhibition on sympathetic nerve traffic and baroreflex control of circulation in heart failure

  • Grassi G
  • Cattaneo B
  • Seravalle G
 et al. 
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Background In congestive heart failure ACE inhibitors chronically reduce plasma norepinephrine. No information exists, however, on whether and to what extent this reduction reflects a true chronic inhibition of sympathetic outflow and which mechanisms may be responsible. Methods and Results In 24 patients aged 60.3{+/-}2.0 years (mean{+/-}SEM) affected by congestive heart failure (New York Heart Association class II) and treated with diuretics and digitalis, we measured mean arterial pressure (Finapres), plasma renin activity and angiotensin II levels (radioimmunoassay), plasma norepinephrine (high-performance liquid chromatography), and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (microneurography at a peroneal nerve) at rest and during baroreceptor stimulation and deactivation caused by stepwise intravenous infusions of phenylephrine and nitroprusside, respectively. In 12 patients measurements were repeated after a 2-month addition of the ACE inhibitor benazepril (10 mg/d PO), while in the remaining 12 patients they were performed again after 2 months without any treatment modifications. Benazepril did not alter mean arterial pressure, markedly increased plasma renin activity, reduced plasma angiotensin II, and caused a nonsignificant reduction in plasma norepinephrine. In contrast, muscle sympathetic nerve traffic was significantly reduced (-30.5{+/-}5.3%, P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Angiotensin
  • Baroreceptors
  • Heart failure
  • Nervous system
  • Reflex
  • Renin

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