Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in the therapy of renal diseases


Prof. H. P. Lefebvre, UMR 181 Physiopathologie et Toxicologie Expérimentales INRA/ENVT, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, 23 Chemin des Capelles, 31076 Toulouse cedex 03, France. E-mail:


Renal diseases, especially chronic renal failure (CRF), are common in canine and feline medicine. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a pivotal role in these conditions in the development of renal lesions and the progression of kidney dysfunction. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) are currently considered as the most efficient agents in therapeutic strategies. The benefit of an ACEI treatment can be explained by at least three mechanisms: ACEI limit systemic and glomerular capillary hypertension, have an antiproteinuric effect, and retard the development of glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial lesions. These effects have been studied in dogs and cats, and there is now some evidence to support the recommendation of ACEI therapy in dogs and cats with CRF. Nevertheless the prescription of ACEI in such patients should take into account the potential influence of renal impairment on ACEI disposition, and adverse effects on the renal function itself (especially hypotension and acute reductions in glomerular filtration rate). The risk of drug interaction with diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and anesthetics, should not be overestimated. Furthermore, hypotension may occur in patients on a low sodium diet.