Pharmacogenetics of ACE inhibition in stable coronary artery disease: Steps towards tailored drug therapy
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Several trials demonstrated that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events during long-term follow-up in high-risk and low-risk patients. Clinical treatment guidelines propose that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors should be considered in the routine secondary prevention in the broad group of coronary artery disease patients. This review discusses several approaches to guide angiotensin- converting enzyme-inhibition therapy to more specific groups of patients that are most likely to benefit. RECENT FINDINGS: The beneficial effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition has been shown to be consistent across subgroups in stable coronary artery disease. Still, large interindividual variability in blood pressure response is well documented. It should also be realized that the absolute treatment effects are modest. The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of this prolonged prophylactic treatment would be significantly enhanced if those patients can be distinguished who benefit most. Recently, it was suggested that markers of an activated renin-angiotensin- aldosterone system might be used to guide angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibition therapy. SUMMARY: At the start of treatment, clinical characteristics are not sufficient to distinguish between patients who will and will not benefit from angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Although pharmacogenetic research in coronary artery disease is still in a premature stage, it may be expected to provide a useful tool in optimizing and individualizing the management of angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitor therapy in coronary artery disease patients.