The impact of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy on the extracellular collagen matrix during left ventricular assist device support in patients with end-stage heart failure

S Klotz, AH Danser, RF Foronjy, MC Oz, J Wang, D Mancini, J D'Armiento and D Burkhoff
J Am Coll Cardiol 2007;49:1166-1174

OBJECTIVES: We hypothesized that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition (ACE-I) during left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support in patients with end-stage heart failure prevents potentially deleterious effects on the extracellular matrix. BACKGROUND: Left ventricular assist device-induced mechanical unloading increases myocardial collagen and stiffness and may contribute to the low rate of recovery. METHODS: Heart samples obtained before and after LVAD implantation were divided into groups depending on whether the patients received (n = 7) or did not receive (control; n = 15) ACE-I. At transplant, ex vivo pressure-volume relationships were measured and chamber and myocardial stiffness constants determined. Myocardial tissue content of angiotensin (Ang) I and II, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, tissue inhibitor of MMPs (TIMP)-1, and total and cross-linked collagen was measured. RESULTS: Duration of support was comparable between ACE-I and control subjects (96 +/- 65 days vs. 109 +/- 22 days). Pre-LVAD Ang I and II and total and cross-linked collagen were similar between groups. Post-LVAD, Ang II was reduced in the ACE-I group but increased in control subjects (181 +/- 7 fmol/g vs. 262 +/- 41 fmol/g; p < 0.05). Similarly, cross-linked collagen decreased during LVAD support in the ACE-I group. Left ventricular (LV) mass and myocardial stiffness were lower in the ACE-I group. ACE-I normalized the LV and right ventricular (RV) MMP-1/TIMP-1 ratio. Collagen content and characteristics of the RV were not affected by ACE-I. CONCLUSIONS: ACE-I therapy was associated with decreased Ang II, myocardial collagen content, and myocardial stiffness during LVAD support. This is the first demonstration of a pharmacologic therapy that can impact myocardial properties during mechanical unloading, and it could foster new lines of investigation in strategies of enhancing myocardial recovery during LVAD support.

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