Neurohormonal activation and inflammation in chronic cardiopulmonary disease: a brief systematic review
Chronic cardiopulmonary disease typically induces and maintains (over)activation of several phylogenetically old adaptational and defensive mechanisms. Activation was usually needed for a limited period during acute danger or injury. In chronic disease conditions, however, those mechanisms are kept activated for longer periods. Eventually, irreversible damage is done and this contributes to impaired function and worse prognosis in a variety of chronic disease. Landmark trials in chronic heart failure have provided robust evidence for prognostic benefit for neurohormonal antagonists. Retrospective and epidemiological data for their beneficial effect in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease begin to accumulate and new fields (e.g. cancer and stroke) could be pending in the future.