JOURNAL ARTICLE

Type 2 diabetes: RENAAL and IDNT—the emergence of new treatment options

Domenic A Sica, George L Bakris
Journal of Clinical Hypertension 2002, 4 (1): 52-7
11821641
The Reduction in End Points in NIDDM with the Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan (RENAAL) study and the Irbesartan Diabetic Nephropathy Trial (IDNT) are two recently reported trials with hard end points, conducted in patients in advanced stages of diabetic nephropathy. Two other studies--the Irbesartan Microalbuminuria Study (IRMA)-2 and the Microalbuminuria Reduction with Valsartan study (MARVAL)--were trials conducted in patients with type 2 diabetes with microalbuminuria, a cardiovascular risk factor associated with early-stage diabetic nephropathy. These trials all had a common theme--that is, does an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) interfere with the natural history of diabetic nephropathy in a blood pressure-independent fashion? Without question, the results of these trials legitimatize the use of the ARB class in forestalling the deterioration in renal function, which is almost inevitable in the patient with untreated diabetic nephropathy. These data can now be added to the vast array of evidence supporting angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use in patients with nephropathy associated with type 1 diabetes. It now appears a safe conclusion that the patient with diabetic nephropathy should receive therapy with an agent that interrupts the renin-angiotensin system. These studies have not resolved the question as to whether an ACE inhibitor or an ARB is the preferred agent in people with nephropathy from type 1 diabetes, though the optimal doses of these drugs remain to be determined. Head-to-head studies comparing ACE inhibitors to ARBs in diabetic nephropathy are not likely to occur, so it is unlikely that comparable information will be forthcoming with ACE inhibitors. An evidence-based therapeutic approach derived from these trials would argue for ARBs to be the foundation of therapy in the patient with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy.

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