Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) reduces proteinuria and the rate of renal function deterioration in diabetic nephropathy and other glomerular diseases, but its role in quiescent lupus nephritis has not been established. We conducted a retrospective study to investigate the effects of ACEI/ARB on proteinuria and renal function in patients with persistent proteinuria (>1 g/day) despite resolution of acute lupus nephritis following immunosuppressive treatment. Fourteen out of 92 patients were included. The duration of treatment with ACEI/ARB was 52.1 +/- 35.7 months. The levels of proteinuria, serum albumin, serum creatinine, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 1.10 to 6.90 g/day, 35.8 +/- 3.6 g/L, 102.54 +/- 34.48 micromol/L, 137.6 +/- 10.9 and 81.9 +/- 9.2 mmHg at baseline. Proteinuria and serum albumin showed significant sustained improvements after 6 and 24 months of treatment. Comparison of slopes for serial proteinuria, albumin and reciprocal of serum creatinine before and after treatment showed significant improvements in six (43%), eight (57%) and two patients, respectively. At last follow-up proteinuria remained significantly lower (0.36 g/day, P = 0.043) and albumin higher (41.3 +/- 2.2 g/L, P = 0.023). Eleven (78.6%) patients had proteinuria improved by >50%, and five had insignificant proteinuria at last follow-up. Systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced from 6 months onwards, but this did not correlate with proteinuria reduction. Diastolic blood pressure, serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, anti-dsDNA, C3 and haemoglobin were not altered. We conclude that ACEI/ARB effectively reduces proteinuria and improves serum albumin in patients with persistent proteinuria despite quiescent lupus nephritis.