Background: Sulfhydryl angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors exert antiatherosclerotic effects in preclinical models and antioxidant effects in patients. However, whether ACE inhibitors have any clinically significant antiatherogenic effects remains still debated. Objectives: In mildly hypertensive patients, we evaluated the effect of the sulfhydryl ACE inhibitor zofenopril in comparison with the carboxylic ACE inhibitor enalapril on carotid atherosclerosis (intima-media thickness [IMT] and vascular lumen diameter) and systemic oxidative stress (nitrite/nitrate, asymmetrical dimethyl-l-arginine, and isoprostanes). Methods: In 2001, we started a small prospective randomized clinical trial on 48 newly diagnosed mildly hypertensive patients with no additional risk factors for atherosclerosis (eg, hyperlipidemia, smoke habit, familiar history of atherosclerosis-related diseases or diabetes). Patients were randomly assigned either to the enalapril (20 mg/d, n = 24) or the zofenopril group (30 mg/d, n = 24); the planned duration of the trial was 5 years. Carotid IMT and vascular lumen diameter were determined by ultrasonography for all patients at baseline and at 1, 3, and 5 years. Furthermore, nitrite/nitrate, asymmetrical dimethyl-l-arginine, and isoprostane levels were measured. Results: In our conditions, IMT of the right and left common carotid arteries was similar at baseline in both groups (P = NS). Intima-media thickness measurements until 5 years revealed a significant reduction in the zofenopril group but not in the enalapril group (P <.05 vs enalapril-treated group). This effect was coupled with a favorable nitric oxide/oxidative stress profile in the zofenopril group. Conclusions: Long-term treatment with the sulfhydryl ACE inhibitor zofenopril besides its blood pressure-lowering effects may slow the progression of IMT of the carotid artery in newly diagnosed mildly hypertensive patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine