Preventing end-stage renal disease in diabetic patients - dual blockade of the renin-angiotensin system (Part II).J Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone Syst. 2005 Sep; 6(2):55-68.JR
Diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of diabetes related morbidity and mortality. The first part of the current review was published in the last issue of this journal and discussed the important role of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in diabetic nephropathy and the genetic influence on development of endstage renal disease (ESRD) in diabetic patients. This second part of the review focus on the potential improvement of the current treatment strategy to slow down the loss of kidney function using dual blockade of the RAS with both ACE-inhibitors (ACE-I) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). Substantial evidence from short-term studies using surrogate endpoints indicates a beneficial impact of dual blockade of the RAS, not obtainable with single agent blockade alone, both in diabetic and non-diabetic renal disease. This conclusion has been confirmed and extended in a longterm trial with regard to prevention of ESRD in non-diabetic renal disease. Results indicate that dual blockade of the RAS may further slow down, but not arrest progressive loss of renal function. However, studies defining the optimal dose of ACE-I / ARBs without additional adverse effects are essential to ensure relevant comparison with dual blockade therapy. Trials using primary renal endpoints in diabetic nephropathy are still needed, and will finally establish the role of dual blockade of the RAS in a clinical setting.