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- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Dr. Thierry H. LeJemtel, Division of Cardiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, New York 10461.
When initiated a few days after myocardial infarction, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition exerts beneficial effects on survival and morbidity in patients with asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction or symptomatic heart failure. During the acute phase of a myocardial infarction, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition appears to be well tolerated, to prevent the development of heart failure in patients with asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction and to improve the hemodynamic and clinical variables of heart failure when present. Accordingly, early angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition is clearly indicated in patients with acute myocardial infarction associated with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction or clinical evidence of heart failure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition may also be beneficial when thrombolytic agents fail to restore coronary patency in patients with acute myocardial infarction.