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, 96 (5), 451-6

Risks of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibition During Pregnancy: Experimental and Clinical Evidence, Potential Mechanisms, and Recommendations for Use


Risks of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibition During Pregnancy: Experimental and Clinical Evidence, Potential Mechanisms, and Recommendations for Use

A Shotan et al. Am J Med.


Objective: To review reports on the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) during pregnancy in order to determine the incidence, nature, and potential mechanisms of fetal complications in an attempt to establish recommendations related to the use of these drugs during gestation.

Data sources: Relevant English-language articles identified through a Medline search and bibliographies found in recent articles.

Study selection: Large number of reports both on animals and on humans have consistently shown a high degree of morbidity and even mortality in fetuses or newborns exposed to ACE-I during pregnancy. The reported complications include oligohydramnios, intrauterine growth retardation, premature labor, fetal and neonatal renal failure, bony malformations, limb contractures, persistent patent ductus arteriosus, pulmonary hypoplasia, respiratory distress syndrome, prolonged hypotension, and neonatal death. A high incidence of fetal complications was related to the use of ACE-I at all trimesters of pregnancy.

Conclusion: The gestational use of ACE-I may be associated with a high degree of fetal and newborn morbidity and even mortality. The use of these drugs should be avoided at all trimesters of pregnancy.

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