The reason it is interesting, is that it is unexpected, to me
at least. I’m always curious when it turns out that something
known to affect one bodily system turns out to have an effect somewhere
is a drug used to treat high blood pressure. It works by
slowing the action of an enzyme. The enzyme, angiotensin
converting enzyme, is part of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
I guess it is too complicated to go in to detail here, and it
is not really the point. The point is that there is a system
in your body that regulates blood pressure by monitoring the kidneys to
see if they are getting enough blood. The whole thing has
nothing to do with the formation of scars.
is a scar in which there is an overgrowth of scar tissue.
They can be disfiguring and uncomfortable. They are
not enough of a problem to warrant a huge research effort, but we all
wish there were a good way to make them go way.
The abstract is on Medscape (free registration required).
Enalapril in the Treatment of Surgical Cutaneous Hypertrophic Scar and
Keloid – Two Case Reports and Literature Review
Silvia Iannello, MD; Paolina Milazzo, MD; Fabio Bordonaro, MD;
Francesco Belfiore, MD
Hypertrophic scars and keloids are 2 forms of
excessive cutaneous scarring that occur in predisposed individuals. The
healing process varies greatly among patients, and the risk of a bad
scar evolution is unpredictable. Keloids create disfiguring scars with
associated erythema and pain or pruritus or restricted range of motion,
and are a major cause of morbidity. A fortuitous observation was made
by the first author of this study who, at age 54, developed an
erythematous and painful postsurgical abdominal keloid scar after
undergoing left colectomy for colon adenocarcinoma. Four months later,
after treatment with low-dose enalapril (10 mg, once a day) for mild
arterial hypertension, her keloid scar rapidly improved and she
eventually made a complete recovery…
I hasten to add that people should not run out and try this on their
own. Perhaps someday it will turn out to be a valuable
treatment. It also may teach us a thing or two about scar
formation. The greater clinical utility could come from, say,
treatment of cirrhosis of the liver, or something like that.
If, and it is a big if, we can figure our enough about what
is going on, and find a way to selectively get rid of the tissue we
want to get rid of, without damaging anything else.