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Hypertension. 2005 May;45(5):880-6. Epub 2005 Apr 4.

Systematic review of combined angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition and angiotensin receptor blockade in hypertension.

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  • 1Blood Pressure Unit, Department of Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Some evidence suggests that long-term angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition may become less effective, thereby increasing angiotensin II levels, which could be inhibited by the addition of an angiotensin receptor blocker. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized trials with searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases. Overall, the combination of an ACE inhibitor and an angiotensin receptor blocker reduced ambulatory blood pressure by 4.7/3.0 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.9 to 6.5/1.6 to 4.3) compared with ACE inhibitor monotherapy and 3.8/2.9 mm Hg (2.4 to 5.3/0.4 to 5.4) compared with angiotensin receptor blocker monotherapy. Clinic blood pressure was reduced by 3.8/2.7 mm Hg (0.9 to 6.7/0.8 to 4.6) and 3.7/2.3 mm Hg (0.4 to 6.9/0.2 to 4.4) compared with ACE inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker, respectively. However, the majority of these studies used submaximal doses or once-daily dosing of shorter-acting ACE inhibitors and, when a larger dose of shorter-acting ACE inhibitor was given or a longer-acting ACE inhibitor was used, there was generally no additive effect of the angiotensin receptor blocker on blood pressure. Proteinuria was reduced by the combination compared with ACE inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker monotherapy, an effect that was independent of blood pressure in several studies, suggesting that the combination could have benefits in proteinuric nephropathies. None of the studies was of sufficient size and duration to determine whether there may be safety concerns. In conclusion, although there is a small additive effect on blood pressure with an ACE inhibitor-angiotensin receptor blocker combination, the routine use of this combination in uncomplicated hypertension is not recommended until more carefully controlled studies are performed.

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