Safety and efficiency of chronic ACE inhibition in symptomatic heart failure patients with a systemic right ventricle

Int J Cardiol. 2012 Jan 12;154(1):14-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.08.068. Epub 2010 Sep 16.


Background: ACE inhibition is an established treatment regimen in patients with congestive heart failure due to left ventricular dysfunction which improves morbidity and mortality. However, little is known about the beneficial effects of ACE inhibition in adult patients after Mustard procedure for transposition of the great arteries with heart failure symptoms. Therefore, we investigated the effects of ACE inhibition in these patients on heart failure symptoms, echocardiographic diameters, NT-proBNP and exercise capacity.

Methods: In 14 patients (age 25.2 ± 3.5 years), after Mustard procedure for transposition of the great arteries (age at operation 1.1 ± 1.3 years) with heart failure NYHA II (New York Heart Association class), an ACE inhibition was initiated. At baseline and 13.3 ± 4.0 months after treatment with enalapril (10mg twice a day), echocardiography, exercise test and NT-proBNP measurements were performed and compared to an age- and sex-matched control group.

Results: Maximum oxygen uptake and echocardiographic parameters did not change significantly in both groups. However, NT-proBNP showed a significant decrease in the treatment group (242 ± 105 vs. 151 ± 93 ng/l, p=0.004), while in the control group a significant increase (120 ± 89 vs. 173 ± 149 ng/l, p<0.05) was observed. Furthermore, ACE inhibitor treatment did not result in a deterioration of heart failure symptoms or renal function.

Conclusions: Thus, ACE inhibitor treatment of heart failure symptoms in patients with a systemic right ventricle is safe and reduces NT-proBNP levels significantly as a marker for ventricular overload. Nevertheless, larger scale trials are warranted to show effects on morbidity and mortality in this highly selected patient group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Enalapril / adverse effects
  • Enalapril / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transposition of Great Vessels / surgery
  • Young Adult


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Enalapril