Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors improve endothelial function, inhibit experimental atherogenesis, and decrease ischemic events. The Quinapril Ischemic Event Trial was designed to test the hypothesis that quinapril 20 mg/day would reduce ischemic events (the occurrence of cardiac death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, nonfatal myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting, coronary angioplasty, or hospitalization for angina pectoris) and the angiographic progression of coronary artery disease in patients without systolic left ventricular dysfunction. A total of 1,750 patients were randomized to quinapril 20 mg/day or placebo and followed a mean of 27 +/- 0.3 months. The 38% incidence of ischemic events was similar for both groups (RR 1.04; 95% confidence interval 0.89 to 1.22; p = 0.6). There was also no significant difference in the incidence of patients having angiographic progression of coronary disease (p = 0.71). The rate of development of new coronary lesions was also similar in both groups (p = 0.35). However, there was a difference in the incidence of angioplasty for new (previously unintervened) vessels (p = 0.018). Quinapril was well tolerated in patients after angioplasty with normal left ventricular function. Quinapril 20 mg did not significantly affect the overall frequency of clinical outcomes or the progression of coronary atherosclerosis. However, the absence of the demonstrable effect of quinapril may be due to several limitations in study design.