Stopping renin-angiotensin system inhibitors in chronic kidney disease: predictors of response

Anderson Roman Gonçalves, Arif Khwaja, Aimun K Ahmed, Mohsen El Kossi, Meguid El Nahas
Nephron. Clinical Practice 2011, 119 (4): c348-54

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors are considered first-line agents for hypertensive patients with progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD). In a previous study, we showed that stopping RAS inhibitors increased estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in a significant number of advanced CKD patients. The present study tries to address who would benefit and whether this benefit is predictable.

METHODS: Forty-three CKD stage 4 patients had RAS inhibitors stopped and were followed for at least 24 months. Compared outcome groups were 'alive', 'renal replacement therapy (RRT)' or 'died'. Improvement in eGFR was used in a receiver-operating characteristic curve and finds the best predictor for surviving without RRT.

RESULTS: Patients who survived without RRT were all hypertensive and had a higher eGFR increment after stopping the drugs. Those with eGFR improvement ≥5 ml/min/1.73 m(2) were the most likely to survive long term without RRT (log-rank test, p = 0.03). They had a significant increment in blood pressure that correlated with eGFR improvement (r = 0.403, p = 0.013).

CONCLUSION: A significant increase in eGFR after stopping RAS inhibitors suggests that long-term survival without RRT is more likely. Our findings question the universal preemptive indication of RAS inhibitors in advanced CKD and suggest that they can be safely stopped, at least in some patients.

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