Objective: To investigate whether the compensatory rise in renin and plasma angiotensin I in response to repeated angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor treatment results in a partial escape of ACE inhibition over a 24-h dosing interval.
Design: A single-blind placebo-controlled study in two parallel groups of eight hypertensive subjects receiving a once-daily dose of the ACE inhibitor, spirapril, of either 12.5 or 25 mg. Detailed 24-h studies were performed at the end of 2 weeks of placebo, and after the first dose and 2 weeks administration of spirapril.
Methods: Twenty-four-hour ambulatory blood pressure was measured invasively. True' angiotensins I and II were measured by radioimmunoassay after high-performance liquid chromatography separation.
Results: Both for the lower and higher doses of spirapril, the time-course of changes of spiraprilat, the active metabolite of spirapril, and ACE activity was similar but the maximal rise in angiotensin I was twofold higher after 2 weeks administration than after the first dose. Angiotensin II after the first dose of spirapril fell rapidly, with lowest values 2 to 4 h after dosing. At the end of dosing interval angiotensin II had returned to values seen under placebo with the 12.5-mg dose, but at the end of the 24-h period it was still suppressed with the 25-mg dose. Compared with these first-dose responses the initial maximal degree of angiotensin II suppression after 2 weeks administration of either dose was similar, but during the subsequent hours the degree of angiotensin II suppression tended to be less with the lower and was significantly less with the higher dose of spirapril. With the lower dose of spirapril responses of 24-h ambulatory blood pressure to the first dose and to 2 weeks of administration were almost superimposable, although blood pressures in the second half of the dosing interval tended to be higher during chronic treatment. With the higher dose the response of nocturnal blood pressure after 2 weeks administration was diminished by 8.8 mmHg systolic and 6.8 mmHg diastolic.
Conclusions: Repeated ACE inhibitor treatment with once-daily spirapril leads to a partial escape of ACE inhibition, as reflected by a shorter duration of angiotensin II suppression. This escape also affects the antihypertensive response in the second half of the dosing interval.