Antihypertensive treatment in renal transplant patients--is there a role for ACE inhibitors?

Ann Transplant. 2001;6(4):31-7.


During the past two decades great progress was achieved with regards to short-term kidney graft survival. However, long-term graft survival did not improve similarly. Many factors contribute to chronic graft nephropathy eventually resulting in late graft loss, among these arterial hypertension is of major importance. In patients with chronic renal disease of diabetic and non-diabetic origin, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors have been convincingly shown to slow the progression of renal failure. The achieved nephroprotection correlates with the reduction of proteinuria by ACE inhibitor treatment. Also in renal transplant patients, ACE inhibitors have been shown unequivocally to reduce urinary protein excretion. The prevention of hyperfiltration, particular in the context of a reduced number of functional nephrons in patients with chronic graft nephropathy, could be important to prolong graft survival after renal transplantation. Moreover, ACE inhibitors may exert beneficial effects on immunologic processes contributing to chronic graft nephropathy. Many studies published in the last decade show convincingly that ACE inhibitors are safe and effective for the treatment of hypertension in renal allograft recipients. However, no data exist so far showing that ACE inhibitors are superior to other antihypertensive drugs in renal transplant patients and that they prolong graft survival. Studies investigating this issue are warranted. Apart from effects on the graft, ACE inhibitors may improve alterations of the cardiovascular system generally observed in renal transplant patients, such as structural alterations of large arteries, left ventricular hypertrophy, disturbed mechanical vessel wall properties and endothelial dysfunction. Therefore, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors could reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in kidney transplant patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Graft Rejection / drug therapy
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Diseases / drug therapy
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Postoperative Care


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine