Angiotensin-converting enzyme genotype modulates pulmonary function and exercise capacity in treated patients with congestive stable heart failure

M. Roselle Abraham, Lyle J. Olson, Michael J. Joyner, Stephen T. Turner, Ken C. Beck, Bruce D. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background - The gene encoding ACE exhibits an insertion/deletion polymorphism resulting in 3 genotypes (DD, ID, and II), which affects serum and tissue ACE activity as well as other vasoactive substances. Pulmonary function is frequently abnormal in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), the mechanism of which has not been completely characterized. ACE inhibition has been shown to improve diffusion across the alveolar-capillary membrane and to improve exercise capacity and gas exchange in CHF. The aim of the current study was to determine if ACE genotype is associated with altered pulmonary function and exercise intolerance in patients with treated CHF. Methods and Results - Fifty-seven patients (stratified according to ACE genotype as17 DD, 28 ID, 12 II) with ischemic and dilated cardiomyopathy, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <35%, and <10 pack-years of smoking history were studied. All patients were receiving standard therapy for left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Pulmonary function, LVEF, serum ACE, plasma angiotensin II, atrial natriuretic peptide, and brain natriuretic peptide were measured at baseline. Peak VO2 and gas exchange measurements were assessed with graded exercise. Resting LVEF was similar among the genotype groups (25% to 28%), and no differences were observed in diastolic function or pulmonary artery pressures (P>0.05). Mean peak VO2 and forced vital capacity (% Pred) were significantly reduced (P<0.05), whereas mean serum ACE activity and plasma angiotensin II concentration were highest in DD homozygotes. Subjects homozygous for the D-allele also demonstrated higher mean ventilatory equivalents for carbon dioxide (VE/VCO2) during exercise (P<0.05). Conclusions - ACE DD genotype is associated with decreased exercise tolerance in CHF, possibly mediated by altered pulmonary function. Pharmacological strategies effecting more complete inhibition of serum and tissue ACE and/or potentiation of bradykinin may improve exercise capacity in patients with CHF and ACE DD genotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1794-1799
Number of pages6
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiotensin
  • Heart failure
  • Lung
  • Renin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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