Background: Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) tend to progress to end-stage renal failure (ESRF). As it has been demonstrated that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) have a renoprotective effect in adults with proteinuric disease and may be effective in reducing hyperfiltration and proteinuria, they are also frequently used as anti-progression agents in paediatric patients with CKD despite the lack of data confirming their role in the nephropathies peculiar to children. The aim of this study was to investigate whether patients with hypodysplastic CKD (the most common cause of ESRF in children) treated with ACEi show a significantly slower decline in creatinine clearance (Ccr).
Methods: The analysis was based on the information available in the database of the ItalKid Project, a nationwide, population-based registry of chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) in children in Italy. Of the 822 patients with CRI due to hypodysplasia, we selected those who had been continuously treated with ACEi; the control patients were identified from the same diagnostic group and matched for gender, age and baseline Ccr.
Results: Progression was analysed as the slope of Ccr in a total of 164 patients: 41 cases and 123 matched controls. There were no significant between-group differences in blood pressure, duration of follow-up or pre-study slope of Ccr (-0.31+/-2.26 vs -0.33+/-3.58 ml/min/1.73 m2/year; P=NS). After an average of 4.9+/-2.3 years, the mean slope of Ccr was 40% lower in the ACEi-treated cases in comparison to controls (-1.08+/-2.08 vs -1.80+/-4.42 ml/min/1.73 m2/year), however, this difference was not statistically significant (P=0.31).
Conclusions: We conclude that ACEi treatment does not significantly modify the naturally progressive course of hypodysplastic nephropathy in children and further studies are necessary before such treatment is routinely proposed for anti-progression purposes in children with CKD.