Background: Drugs that inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme slow the progression of renal insufficiency in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Whether these drugs have a similar action in patients with other renal diseases is not known. We conducted a study to determine the effect of the angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor benazepril on the progression of renal insufficiency in patients with various underlying renal diseases.
Methods: In a three-year trial involving 583 patients with renal insufficiency caused by various disorders, 300 patients received benazepril and 283 received placebo. The underlying diseases included glomerulopathies (in 192 patients), interstitial nephritis (in 105), nephrosclerosis (in 97), polycystic kidney disease (in 64), diabetic nephropathy (in 21), and miscellaneous or unknown disorders (in 104). The severity of renal insufficiency was classified according to the base-line creatinine clearance: 227 patients had mild insufficiency (creatinine clearance, 46 TO 60 ml per minute), and 356 had moderate insufficiency (creatinine clearance, 30 to 45 ml per minute). The primary end point was a doubling of the base-line serum creatine concentration or the need for dialysis.
Results: At three years. 31 patients in the benazepril group and 57 in the placebo group had reached the primary end point (P<0.001). In the benazepril group, the reduction in the risk of reaching the end point was 53 percent overall (95 percent confidence interval, 27 to 70 percent), 71 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 21 to 90 percent) among the patients with mild renal insufficiency, and 46 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 12 to 67 percent) among those with moderate renal insufficiency. The reduction in risk was greatest among the male patients; those with glomerular diseases, diabetic nephropathy, or miscellaneous or unknown causes of renal disease; and those with base-line urinary protein excretion above 1 g per 24 hours. Benazepril was not effective in patients with polycystic disease. Diastolic pressure decreased by 3.5 to 5.0 mm Hg in the benazepril group and increased by 0.2 to 1.5 mm Hg in the placebo group.
Conclusions: Benazepril provides protection against the progression of renal insufficiency in patients with various renal diseases.