Impact of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or receptor blockers on post-ICU discharge outcome in patients with acute kidney injury

Intensive Care Med. 2018 May;44(5):598-605. doi: 10.1007/s00134-018-5160-6. Epub 2018 May 15.


Purpose: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with the activation of the renin-angiotensin system. Whether angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARB) improve outcome in patients recovering from AKI remains unexplored. The purpose was to investigate the association between prescription of ACEi/ARB at intensive care unit (ICU) discharge and 1-year outcome in patients recovering from AKI.

Methods: Association between ACEi/ARB and 1-year mortality rate was explored in 1551 patients discharged from 21 European ICUs in an observational cohort. One-year all-cause mortality after ICU discharge was the primary endpoint. AKI was defined using the kidney disease improvement global outcome definition. Propensity score matching was used to consider the probability to receive ACEi/ARB at ICU discharge and included chronic heart failure, ACEi/ARB on ICU admission, Charlson Comorbidity Index, age, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, estimated glomerular filtration rate and arterial blood pressure at ICU discharge vasopressors and renal replacement therapy.

Results: Overall, 1-year mortality was 28 and 15% in patients with AKI (n = 611, 39%) and without AKI (n = 940), respectively. In patients with AKI, unadjusted, adjusted and propensity-score matched 1-year mortality rates were lower in patients treated with ACEi/ARB at ICU discharge [HR of 0.55 (0.35-0.89), HR of 0.45 (0.27-0.75), and HR of 0.48 (0.27-0.85, p < 0.001), respectively]. These results were consistent across sensitivity analysis. No association was observed in patients without AKI.

Conclusions: In patients discharged alive from the ICU after experiencing AKI, ACEi/ARB prescription at discharge is associated with a decrease in 1-year mortality.

Trial registration: NCT01367093. Registered on 6 June 2011.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; Angiotensin-receptor blockers; Critically Ill; ICU; ICU discharge; Mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / drug therapy*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy*


  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

Associated data