In patients with primary glomerulonephritis (GN), antiproteinuric response to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors plus angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) versus either monotherapy is undefined because of the small size of studies and high heterogeneity of response.
Randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
RCTs published from January 1996 to April 2007. Studies were excluded if information about levels of proteinuria was not available, patients had kidney disease other than primary GN, or if they had end-stage renal disease.
ACE inhibitor plus ARB versus monotherapy with 1 of these drug classes.
Absolute changes in proteinuria (primary), blood pressure, serum potassium level, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR; secondary).
We found 13 RCTs including 425 patients with primary GN with proteinuria ranging from 0.8 to 7.9 g/d of protein and age from 25 to 60 years. Combination treatment decreased proteinuria by 0.60 g/d (95% confidence interval, 0.40 to 0.80) versus ACE-inhibitor monotherapy and 0.54 g/d (95% confidence interval, 0.30 to 0.78) versus ARB monotherapy. Baseline levels of proteinuria explained most between-study variability of the antiproteinuric response to combination therapy versus monotherapies. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, GFR, age, and diagnosis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy did not modify antiproteinuric response. ACE-inhibitor plus ARB therapy did not change GFR, whereas it increased serum potassium levels (by 0.10 mEq/L versus ACE-inhibitor and 0.19 mEq/L versus ARB therapy) and decreased blood pressure.
Only published data are included.
The antiproteinuric response to ACE-inhibitor plus ARB therapy versus either monotherapy is consistently greater and strictly related to baseline proteinuria, associated with only moderate increase in serum potassium levels, and not peculiar to immunoglobulin A nephropathy.