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Z Kardiol. 1991;80 Suppl 2:50-4.

Effect of ACE-inhibition on renal function in severe congestive heart failure.

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Department of Medicine, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


The long-term prognosis in severe congestive heart failure is very poor. Therapeutic regimens, in order to improve prognosis, should directly or indirectly influence the compensatory systems that are activated, ACE-inhibitor therapy has emerged as an important regimen in this context. In the CONSENSUS-trial (3), we could demonstrate that the addition of enalapril to conventional therapy in severe CHF significantly improved survival. The experience from this study forms the background for the recommendations in this work. 253 patients with severe heart failure (New York Heart Association (NYHA) Classification functional class IV) were randomized at 35 Scandinavian centers to placebo (n = 126) or enalapril (n = 127), in addition to their conventional therapy. The treatment dose of enalapril varied between 2.5 and 40 mg daily (man 18.3 mg). Blood samples for measurement of serum electrolytes and serum creatinine were taken repeatedly during follow-up. There seems to be about a 10% increase in creatinine within 2 weeks of initiating enalapril therapy. This increase seems to be independent of baseline creatinine level. Adverse experience regarding serum creatinine was reported in 22 placebo-treated patients and in 51 patients in the enalapril group. This reporting was based upon the investigators' feelings of significant importance of the observation and not on symptomatology. This was the main reason for permanent withdrawal in 2 and 7 patients, respectively. During initiation of enalapril therapy the blood pressure response is important after the very first dose, but for renal function the response may not appear until several days later. However, in most patients there are no problems with starting enalapril.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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