Converting enzyme inhibition to identify and treat renin-mediated or sodium-volume related forms of increased peripheral resistance in hypertension and in congestive heart failure

J Hypertens Suppl. 1983 Oct;1(1):77-84.


Ten years of experience with three different converting enzyme inhibitors (CEI; teprotide, captopril and enalapril) in over 300 hypertensive patients reveals that CEI act largely to block renin-angiotensin mediated vasoconstriction. Thus, their effectiveness or lack of it is predicted by the baseline plasma renin measurement. Accordingly, responses to these pharmacological agents can be used to identify and quantify renin-mediated vasoconstriction in the spectrum of hypertensive diseases. The converse is also generally true. Patients failing to respond to CEI exhibit low renin values and their increased peripheral resistance appears related to other mechanisms, possibly involving a subtle increase in total body sodium. Thus, low renin states such as low-renin essential hypertension, primary aldosteronism, and anephric man exhibit little or no response to CEI. The relationship between the renin system activity and effectiveness of CEI reflects a specific interference with a particular pathogenic mechanism which is further supported by the fact that two other types of renin system inhibitors (beta-blockers and saralasin) are similarly effective or ineffective according to the operant renin profile also by studies in patients with congestive heart failure without hypertension in whom the same relationships can be demonstrated. Like hypertensives, heart failure patients exhibit a broad spectrum of renin activity values, and their pretreatment renin levels predict the responses to CEI. We have also found that plasma renin values in heart failure are dependent on sodium intake. When salt is administered, renin falls and patients then become unresponsive to CEI.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arterioles / physiopathology
  • Captopril / therapeutic use
  • Enalapril / analogs & derivatives
  • Enalapril / therapeutic use
  • Enalaprilat
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Nifedipine / therapeutic use
  • Renin / blood
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects*
  • Sodium / metabolism*
  • Teprotide / therapeutic use
  • Vascular Resistance / drug effects*


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Enalapril
  • Captopril
  • Sodium
  • Teprotide
  • Renin
  • Enalaprilat
  • Nifedipine