Hippokratia 2011; 15 (Suppl 1): 27-32
M. Baltatzi, Ch. Savopoulos, A. Hatzitolios
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global health problem associated with considerable morbidity and mortality and despite advances in the treatment of end stage renal disease (ESRD) mechanisms to prevent and delay its progression are still being sought. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a pivotal role in many of the pathophysiologic changes that lead to progression of renal disease. Traditionally RAAS was considered as an endocrine system and its principal role was to maintain blood pressure (BP). In recent years local RAAS has been described to operate independently from systemic and local angiotensin II (AngII) in the kidney to contribute in hypertension and kidney damage. The benefits of strict BP control in slowing kidney disease progression have been demonstrated in several clinical trials and the question whether specific agents like angiotensin converting enzyme antagonists (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) provide renoprotective benefits beyond BP lowering is to be answered. Several studies support these agents reduce proteinuria and protect renal function, whereas the opposite is stated by others. According to guidelines, their use is recommended as first line agents in diabetic renal disease and non diabetic renal disease with albuminuria, whereas there is no data to support the same in non diabetic nonalbuminuric renal disease. Dual blockage of RAAS with the combination of ACEIs and ARBs could offer an alternative in strict RAAS blockade, but studies up to now can not prove its safety and the combination is not recommended until ongoing trials will provide new and unarguable results.