Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system blockers in Bulgarian COVID-19 patients with or without chronic kidney disease

Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Dec 2;101(48):e31988. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000031988.


When angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker-treated patients present with SARS-CoV-2 infection there is a debate to know whether renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) blockers should be stopped or not. We conducted a prospective observational study in Bulgarian COVID-19-infected patients with or without chronic kidney disease (CKD) to assess whether maintenance RAAS blocker therapy has an impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection and its complications. We included 120 in-patient COVID-19 subjects, of whom 70 had CKD and 50 had normal renal function. A total of 30% of the patients (total number of 36 patients, 21 females) were receiving RAAS therapy at admission and it was maintained throughout hospitalization. The overall mortality was 19.2% (23 patients); there was no significant difference across the 2 groups (P-value = .21), except in RAAS blockers-treated hypertensive patients who had a significantly lower mortality as compared to non-RAAS-blockers-treated hypertensive patients (P = .04). Regarding subsequent intensive-care unit admission, there were 50% less patients in the RAAS group (4 out of 36, i.e., 11%) as compared to 19 out of 84 from the non-RAAS group, that is, 22.6% (P = .29). Overall, 37 patients developed acute kidney injury (any stage by KDIGO); of them 14 (37.8%) were receiving RAAS blockers. Acute kidney injury was not significantly associated with the use of RAAS blockers (P-value = .28). Likewise, both in non-CKD and in CKD patients the use of RAAS blockers did not have an impact on renal function recovery after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Finally, regarding RAAS blockers and the biological parameters outcome only D-dimers were significantly lower at the follow-up as compared to that in non-RAAS blocker treated patients. RAAS blockers benefited patients with hypertension by lowering mortality rate. Other than that, RAAS blocker therapy continuation during SARS-CoV-2 infection in CKD and non-CKD patients had no significant impact upon major outcomes.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Bulgaria / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Humans
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Renin-Angiotensin System
  • SARS-CoV-2