Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor (ACEI) or Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB) for Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction
The left ventricle is the part of the heart that holds and pumps blood to other vital organs. A measure called the left ventricular ejection fraction or LVEF is used to check for damage due to heart attacks and other conditions. The LVEF value for a person with no heart damage is usually around 60 percent. Systolic dysfunction (condition that causes reduced pumping ability of the heart’s left lower ventricle) represents reduced pumping ability of the heart.
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACEI) inhibitors are a group of medications that relax blood vessels and make it easier for the heart muscle to pump blood to vital organs. Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) are a similar group of medications, and both are recommended by the Joint Commission as important tools for reducing mortality in heart attack survivors who have left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD).
A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology Research indicates that heart attack survivors, who have reduced pumping ability of the heart, should be placed on an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) or an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) medication. This kind of medication reduces the chance of death and improves symptoms after a heart attack (Circulation, May 24, 2005: 111 (20); 2699-2710).
The most recent report (4th qtr., 2010) shows 100% of UAMS eligible heart attack survivors received a discharge prescription for an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) medication (two groups of medications that relax blood vessels), compared to the national average of 93% and the average for University Healthsystem consortium hospitals of 97%.