Renal insufficiency due to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors

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34 Scopus citations


Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors represent a major therapeutic breakthrough for treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure and various chronic renal diseases. They are effective generally well tolerated and safe for most patients. However, acute renal insufficiency or overt renal failure occurs in some patients with underlying critical renal artery stenosis (RAS), hypertensive nephrosclerosis, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and chronic congestive heart failure. Diuretic-induced sodium depletion and underlying chronic renal insufficiency are the major predisposing factors for renal insufficiency in all of these patient populations. Renal insufficiency is usually asymptomatic, non-oliguric, associated with hyperkalemia, and in nearly every case completely reversible after discontinuation of the offending agent. Moreover, it can usually be managed in the outpatient setting by discontinuation of the ACE inhibitor, concomitant diuretic or both. An asymptomatic increase in serum creatinine in patients administered ACE inhibitors should raise the possibility of RAS; however, more common renal diseases should be considered. The decision to pursue testing for RAS should be done on an individual basis; moreover, it is imperative that patient willingness to undergo invasive procedures including angioplasty and/or surgery should be determined prospectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalMineral and Electrolyte Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Renal hemodynamics
  • Reversible renal insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry


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