Back in 1986, before ACE inhibitors were introduced in heart failure, we performed studies on the potential effects of ACE inhibition in heart failure. Initially, ischemia-reperfusion rat-models were used to demonstrate that ACE inhibitors prevent left ventricular remodelling after an acute myocardial infarction. Based on the positive results from these experimental studies, we decided to conduct a randomized clinical phase II trial on the effects of early intervention with ACE inhibitors during thrombolytic therapy in 298 acute myocardial infarction patients in the early 1990s. Second, we established potential anti-atherosclerotic effects of ACE inhibitors in patients with cardiovascular disease. This resulted in two randomized clinical trials on the effects of ACE inhibitors on cardiovascular events in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery. Third, we explored the effects of ACE inhibitors on albuminuria in animal models. Once again, this resulted in a randomized controlled trial on the effects of fosinopril on cardiovascular events in 864 subjects with microalbuminuria. These and other studies have resulted in the widespread use of ACE inhibitors in cardiovascular disease.

Key publications (out of >200 publications)

1. Van Gilst WH, de Graeff PA, Wesseling H, de Langen CD. Reduction of reperfusion arrhythmias in the ischemic isolated rat heart by angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors: a comparison of captopril, enalapril, and HOE 498.J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1986;8:722-8.
2. Kingma JH, van Gilst WH, Peels CH, Dambrink JH, Verheugt FW, Wielenga RP.
Acute intervention with captopril during thrombolysis in patients with first anterior myocardial infarction. Results from the Captopril and Thrombolysis Study (CATS). Eur Heart J. 1994;15:898-907.
3. Pinto YM, van Gilst WH, Kingma JH, Schunkert H. Deletion-type allele of the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene is associated with progressive ventricular dilation after anterior myocardial infarction. Captopril and Thrombolysis Study Investigators.J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995;25:1622-6.
4. Oosterga M, Voors AA, Pinto YM, Buikema H, Grandjean JG, Kingma JH, Crijns HJ, van Gilst WH. Effects of quinapril on clinical outcome after coronary artery bypass grafting (The QUO VADIS Study). QUinapril on Vascular Ace and Determinants of Ischemia. Am J Cardiol. 2001;87:542-6.
5. Asselbergs FW, Diercks GF, Hillege HL, van Boven AJ, Janssen WM, Voors AA, de Zeeuw D, de Jong PE, van Veldhuisen DJ, van Gilst WH; Prevention of Renal and Vascular Endstage Disease Intervention Trial (PREVEND IT) Investigators. Effects of fosinopril and pravastatin on cardiovascular events in subjects with microalbuminuria. Circulation. 2004;110:2809-16.
6. Van der Harst P, Volbeda M, Voors AA, Buikema H, Wassmann S, Böhm M, Nickenig G, van Gilst WH. Vascular response to angiotensin II predicts long-term prognosis in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Hypertension. 2004;44:930-4.
7. Rouleau JL, Warnica WJ, Baillot R, Block PJ, Chocron S, Johnstone D, Myers MG, Calciu CD, Dalle-Ave S, Martineau P, Mormont C, van Gilst WH; IMAGINE (Ischemia Management with Accupril post-bypass Graft via Inhibition of the coNverting Enzyme) Investigators.Effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition in low-risk patients early after coronary artery bypass surgery. Circulation. 2008;117:24-31.