Diastolic dysfunction in pressure-overload hypertrophy and its modification by angiotensin II: current concepts

  • Beverly H. Lorell
Conference paper


Cardiac hypertrophy is an adaptive response to an increased load imposed on the myocyte which allows the heart to perform increased work while maintaining normal myocardial fiber stress and shortening in systole. A deleterious consequence of pressure-overload hypertrophy is the prolongation of Ca2+-sensitive force inactivation (impaired myocardial relaxation) which is related to intrinsic alterations in cytosolic Ca2+ transport and reuptake in diastole. Additional factors appear to adversely modify myocardial relaxation in the hypertrophied heart, including the imposition of ischemia. There is also evidence that the expression and activity of the cardiac tissue renin angiotensin system (RAS) may be modified in the hypertrophied heart and contribute to diastolic dysfunction. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of increased cardiac angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) mRNA expression and activity in animal models of hypertrophy, including the aortic-banded rat with compensatory pressure-overload hypertrophy and rats with post-infarction remodeling. In the beating, isovolumic aortic-banded rat heart, the increased intracardiac activation of angiotensin I to II has been shown to be associated with a dose-dependent depression of diastolic relaxation. Preliminary studies suggest that the depression of diastolic function by angiotensin II in the hypertrophied heart can be prevented by the specific inhibition of cardiac ACE. In addition, the well-recognized susceptibility of the hypertrophied heart to severe ischemic diastolic dysfunction also appears to be favorably modified by the inhibition of cardiac ACE activity. The mechanisms responsible for the adverse effects of angiotensin II on diastolic relaxation in the hypertrophied heart are likely to be complex. These factors may include the modification of coronary vasomotor tone as well as effects on intracellular Ca2+ handling mediated by phosphoinositide second messengers. Further studies are needed to clarify the myocardial effects of angiotensin II activation on diastolic relaxation. Much work will also need to be done to determine if intrinsic activity of the cardiac RAS is modified in patients with advanced hypertrophy, and if cardiac angiotensin II activation contributes to diastolic dysfunctiion and heart failure.

Key Words

Diastole left-ventricular hypertrophy angiotensin angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) 


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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Darmstadt 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverly H. Lorell
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cardiovascular Division Charles A. Dana Research Institute and Harvard-Thorndike LaboratoryBeth Israel HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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