- Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems play a critical role in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases, and inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme have proven effective for the treatment of these diseases. Since angiotensin II receptor antagonists can inhibit the effects of angiotensin II via ACE-independent pathways, e.g., chymase, they were considered to be more effective than ACEIs. On the other hand, ACE inhibitors can increase bradykinin, and thus, nitric oxide, which may cause potent cardioprotection, inhibition of smooth muscle proliferation and attenuation of inflammation mechanisms. It appears that angiotensin II receptor antagonists and ACEIs may mediate cardioprotection in different ways. This is the rationale to explore the possibility of a combined administration of both drugs for the treatment of chronic heart failure and other cardiovascular pathology. In this review we try to analyze the role of ACE, kinins and chymase inhibition in the pathophysiology and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.