Ramipril in High Risk Patients with COVID-19

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 May 22;76(3):268-276. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.05.040. Online ahead of print.


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-CoV2 that interfaces with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2). This interaction has been proposed as a potential risk factor in patients treated with RAAS-inhibitors.

Objectives: To analyze if RAAS-inhibitors modify the risk for COVID-19.

Methods: RASTAVI (NCT03201185) is an ongoing randomized clinical trial randomly allocating Ramipril or control after successful transcatheter aortic valve replacement at 14 centers is Spain. We performed a non-pre-specified interim analysis to evaluate its impact on COVID-19 risk in this vulnerable population.

Results: As in April 1st 2020, 102 patients (50 Ramipril and 52 controls) were included in the trial. Mean age was 82.3±6.1 years, 56.9% males. Median time of Ramipril treatment was 6 months [IQR:2.9-11.4]. Eleven patients (10.8%) have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (6 in control group and 5 receiving Ramipril, HR=1.150 [95%CI: 0.351-3.768]). The risk of COVID-19 was increased in older patients (p=0.019), those with atrial fibrillation (p=0.066), lower hematocrit (p=0.084), and more comorbidities according to Society of thoracic surgeons score (p=0.065). Admission and oxygen supply was required in 4.9% (2 patients in the Ramipril and 3 in control), and 4 of them died (two in each randomized group). A higher body mass index was the only factor increasing the mortality rate (p=0.039).

Conclusions: In a high risk population of old patients with cardiovascular disease, randomization to Ramipril had no impact in the incidence or severity of COVID-19. This analysis supports the maintenance of RAAS-inhibitor treatment during COVID-19 crisis.

Keywords: COVID-19; Renin-angiotensin; SARS-CoV2; TAVR.