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Am J Med. 2003 May;114(7):588-98.

Comparative effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers on blood pressure and the kidney.

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Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262, USA.


Many clinicians are uncomfortable about using angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (AT(1)-blockers) to treat patients with renal disease because of concerns about increasing serum creatinine levels. However, the benefits of these medications, particularly their efficacy in slowing the progression of renal disease, outweigh such concerns. ACE inhibitors are effective in patients with type 1 diabetes and renal disease, as well as in those with nondiabetic renal disease and proteinuria >0.5 g/d. AT(1)-blockers slow the progression of diabetic nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes. Although these classes of medications should not be used in patients with severe renal insufficiency (e.g., glomerular filtration rate <20 mL/min), they may be beneficial in patients with mild-to-moderate renal insufficiency. Nonetheless, caution should be exercised in those with a glomerular filtration rate <30 mL/min, and serum creatinine and potassium levels should be checked approximately 1 week after starting treatment. There is also evidence suggesting that these medications lead to greater reductions in blood pressure and proteinuria when used in combination than when alone. The purpose of this paper is to review the mechanisms of action of these two classes of medication, as well as the experimental and clinical evidence that they slow the progression of renal disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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