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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Dual renin-angiotensin system inhibition for prevention of renal and cardiovascular events: do the latest trials challenge existing evidence?

Samir G Mallat

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), PO Box 11-0236, Riad-El-Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon

Cardiovascular Diabetology 2013, 12:108  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-108

Published: 19 July 2013

Abstract

Circulatory and tissue renin-angiotensin systems (RAS) play a central role in cardiovascular (CV) and renal pathophysiology, making RAS inhibition a logical therapeutic approach in the prevention of CV and renal disease in patients with hypertension. The cardio- and renoprotective effects observed with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) monotherapy, together with the availability of a direct renin inhibitor (DRI), led to the investigation of the potential benefits of dual RAS inhibition. In small studies, ARB and ACE inhibitor combinations were shown to be beneficial in patients with CV or renal disease, with improvement in surrogate markers. However, in larger outcome trials, involving combinations of ACE inhibitors, ARBs or DRIs, dual RAS inhibition did not show reduction in mortality in patients with diabetes, heart failure, coronary heart disease or after myocardial infarction, and was in fact, associated with increased harm. A recent meta-analysis of all major trials conducted over the past 22 years involving dual RAS inhibition has clearly shown that the risk-benefit ratio argues against the use of dual RAS inhibition. Hence, the recent evidence clearly advocates against the use of dual RAS inhibition, and single RAS inhibition appears to be the most suitable approach to controlling blood pressure and improving patient outcomes.

Keywords:
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors; Angiotensin II receptor blockers; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease; Dual renin-angiotensin system inhibition; Direct renin inhibitors; Outcomes; Renal disease