Temocapril is a novel ACE inhibitor that is cleared via dual excretion routes in humans. Borderline or mildly hypertensive patients with normal renal function [group 1, creatinine clearance (CLCR) > 70 ml/min (4.2 L/h), n = 12], moderate renal impairment [group 2, CLCR 30 to 70 ml/min (1.8 to 4.2 L/h), n = 12] or severe renal impairment [group 3, CLCR < 30 ml/min (1.8 L/h), n = 12] received a single oral dose of either temocapril 1 mg (n = 6, each group) or enalapril 5mg (n = 6, each group). These 2 drugs gave similar values for the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) of the active diacids. The maximum plasma concentration of enalapril diacid was increased 2- and 6-fold in moderate and severe renal impairment, respectively, whereas that of temocapril diacid was not altered. The AUC of enalapril diacid increased 13-fold at CLCR values < 30 ml/min, but that of temocapril diacid increased only 2-fold. The duration of plasma ACE inhibition due to enalapril was greatly prolonged by the impairment of renal function, whereas that due to temocapril was affected very little. Urinary recovery of temocapril diacid was decreased markedly in patients with severe renal dysfunction, most probably because the diacid was excreted through the biliary route. On the other hand, urinary recovery of enalapril diacid remained fairly high even in patients with severe renal impairment, because of extremely high plasma diacid concentrations resulting from the lack of biliary excretion. These observations suggest that temocapril is beneficial in the treatment of hypertension in patients with severely impaired renal function.