Blood pressure response to conventional and low-dose enalapril in chronic renal failure

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Feb;55(2):139-46. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2003.01764.x.


Aims: In chronic renal failure, the clearance of most ACE inhibitors including enalapril is reduced. Hence, with conventional dosage, plasma enalaprilat may be markedly elevated. It is unclear whether this excess of drug exposure affords an improved control of blood pressure. The aim of the present study was to evaluate short-term blood pressure response to two different plasma levels of enalaprilat.

Methods: As part of an open, randomized, controlled trial of the effect of high and low dosage of enalapril on the progression of renal failure, short-term blood pressure response was evaluated. Data were analysed in all patients completing 3 months of follow-up. The patients were allocated to two trough plasma concentrations of enalaprilat, either above 50 ng ml(-1) (high) (n = 17) or below 10 ng ml(-1) (low) (n = 18), and the daily dose of enalapril titrated accordingly.

Results: Median (range) glomerular filtration rate (GFR) at baseline was 18 (7.9) in the high enalaprilat concentration group and 17 (7.3) ml min(-1) 1.73 m(2) in the low concentration group (NS). Nine patients in each group were on treatment with enalapril at baseline with a median daily dose of 5 mg in both the high (5-10) and low (2.5-20) concentration group. At 3 months' follow-up, the dose was 10 (2.5-30) and 1.9 (1.25-5) mg (P < 0.0001), respectively. After 3 months median trough concentrations of enalaprilat were 82.5 (22-244) ng ml(-1) and 9.1 (2.5-74.8) ng ml(-1) (P < 0.002). At baseline the median systolic blood pressures in the two groups were 140 (110-200) and 133 (110-165), in the high and low enalaprilat concentration groups, respectively, and after 3 months they were 135 (105-170) and 130 (105-170) mmHg (NS). Median diastolic blood pressure was 80 mmHg in each group both at baseline (65-100) and at follow-up (60-95) (NS). There was no difference between the groups in concomitant antihypertensive treatment (number of patients treated, mean daily dose) during the observation period. Proteinuria remained stable during the study period in both groups; patients in the high concentration group had higher plasma potassium concentrations at day 90 and patients in the low group experienced a slight increase in GFR.

Conclusions: In moderate to severe chronic renal insufficiency the same degree of blood pressure control was achieved on low as well as moderate daily doses of enalapril. This was irrespective of concomitant antihypertensive treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / blood*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enalapril / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Potassium / blood
  • Proteinuria / physiopathology


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Hemoglobins
  • Enalapril
  • Potassium