Pathophysiological Effects of Aldosterone in Cardiovascular Tissues


The advent of antihypertensive therapy has resulted in a significant decrease in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Nevertheless, the incidence of heart failure, stroke and end-stage renal failure continues to increase. This trend suggests that a mechanism, independent of hypertension, is responsible for end-organ damage. Genetic and experimental models of hypertension have demonstrated that excess aldosterone induces severe injury in the heart, brain and kidneys, and that pharmacological antagonism of aldosterone or adrenalectomy markedly reduces myocardial injury, cerebral hemorrhage and renal vascular disease. In clinical studies, plasma aldosterone levels have been shown to correlate with left ventricular hypertrophy, stroke and renal dysfunction. Moreover, aldosterone antagonism has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with heart failure. Thus, an increasing body of evidence now indicates that aldosterone is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Authors: R Rocha, C T Stier Jr
Keywords: aldosterone, cardiovascular disease, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke
DOI Number: 10.1016/s1043-2760(01)00432-5      Publication Year: 2001

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