The ENZYME that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II (see ANGIOTENSIN) is called angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin II controls the blood pressure and is the most potent endogenous pressor substance produced in the body; angiotensin I has no such pressor activity. Inhibition of the enzyme that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II will thus have marked eﬀects on lowering the blood pressure, and ACE inhibitors have a valuable role in treating heart failure when thiazides and beta blockers cannot be used or fail to work, especially after myocardial infarction (see HEART, DISEASES OF). Captopril was the ﬁrst ACE inhibitor to be synthesised: it reduces peripheral resistance by causing arteriolar dilatation and thus lowers blood pressure. Other drugs such as enalapril, lisinopril, cilazapril, quinapril and ramipril have since been developed. Some kidney disorders increase the production of angiotensin II and so cause HYPERTENSION.
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