Effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition in renovascular hypertension

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The unique ability of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors to inhibit the generation of angiotensin II has made them very useful agents for treating patients with renovascular hypertension. Their efficacy in lowering blood pressure in this type of secondary hypertension is now well established. However, episodes of acute renal failure may occur during ACE inhibition, particularly when renal perfusion is compromised. This is often the case in patients with renal artery stenosis and a single kidney or with bilateral renal artery stenosis. In recent years, investigators have shown concern at the long-term fate of the stenotic kidney in patients with unilateral renal artery stenosis who are treated with ACE inhibitors. Although overall renal function remained stable, a decrease in glomerular filtration was demonstrated in the stenotic kidney under ACE inhibition. The long-term implications of this observation merit further investigations

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