Effect of Treatment With Sacubitril/Valsartan in Patients With Advanced Heart Failure and Reduced Ejection Fraction: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA cardiology. 2022;(1):17-25
IMPORTANCE The use of sacubitril/valsartan is not endorsed by practice guidelines for use in patients with New York Heart Association class IV heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction because of limited clinical experience in this population. OBJECTIVE To compare treatment with sacubitril/valsartan treatment with valsartan in patients with advanced heart failure and a reduced ejection fraction and recent New York Heart Association class IV symptoms. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A double-blind randomized clinical trial was conducted; a total of 335 patients with advanced heart failure were included. The trial began on March 2, 2017, and was stopped early on March 23, 2020, owing to COVID-19 risk. INTERVENTION Patients were randomized to receive sacubitril/valsartan (target dose, 200 mg twice daily) or valsartan (target dose, 160 mg twice daily) in addition to recommended therapy. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The area under the curve (AUC) for the ratio of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) compared with baseline measured through 24 weeks of therapy. RESULTS Of the 335 patients included in the analysis, 245 were men (73%); mean (SD) age was 59.4 (13.5) years. Seventy-two eligible patients (18%) were not able to tolerate sacubitril/valsartan, 100 mg/d, during the short run-in period, and 49 patients (29%) discontinued sacubitril/valsartan during the 24 weeks of the trial. The median NT-proBNP AUC for the valsartan treatment arm (n = 168) was 1.19 (IQR, 0.91-1.64), whereas the AUC for the sacubitril/valsartan treatment arm (n = 167) was 1.08 (IQR, 0.75-1.60). The estimated ratio of change in the NT-proBNP AUC was 0.95 (95% CI 0.84-1.08; P = .45). Compared with valsartan, treatment with sacubitril/valsartan did not improve the clinical composite of number of days alive, out of hospital, and free from heart failure events. Aside from a statistically significant increase in non-life-threatening hyperkalemia in the sacubitril/valsartan arm (28 [17%] vs 15 [9%]; P = .04), there were no observed safety concerns. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The findings of this trial showed that, in patients with chronic advanced heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction, there was no statistically significant difference between sacubitril/valsartan and valsartan with respect to reducing NT-proBNP levels. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02816736.
Angiotensin II receptor blocker or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor use and COVID-19-related outcomes among US Veterans.
PloS one. 2021;(4):e0248080
BACKGROUND Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) may positively or negatively impact outcomes in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. We investigated the association of ARB or ACEI use with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related outcomes in US Veterans with treated hypertension using an active comparator design, appropriate covariate adjustment, and negative control analyses. METHODS AND FINDINGS In this retrospective cohort study of Veterans with treated hypertension in the Veterans Health Administration (01/19/2020-08/28/2020), we compared users of (A) ARB/ACEI vs. non-ARB/ACEI (excluding Veterans with compelling indications to reduce confounding by indication) and (B) ARB vs. ACEI among (1) SARS-CoV-2+ outpatients and (2) COVID-19 hospitalized inpatients. The primary outcome was all-cause hospitalization or mortality (outpatients) and all-cause mortality (inpatients). We estimated hazard ratios (HR) using propensity score-weighted Cox regression. Baseline characteristics were well-balanced between exposure groups after weighting. Among outpatients, there were 5.0 and 6.0 primary outcomes per 100 person-months for ARB/ACEI (n = 2,482) vs. non-ARB/ACEI (n = 2,487) users (HR 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73-0.99, median follow-up 87 days). Among outpatients who were ARB (n = 4,877) vs. ACEI (n = 8,704) users, there were 13.2 and 14.8 primary outcomes per 100 person-months (HR 0.91, 95%CI 0.86-0.97, median follow-up 85 days). Among inpatients who were ARB/ACEI (n = 210) vs. non-ARB/ACEI (n = 275) users, there were 3.4 and 2.0 all-cause deaths per 100 person months (HR 1.25, 95%CI 0.30-5.13, median follow-up 30 days). Among inpatients, ARB (n = 1,164) and ACEI (n = 2,014) users had 21.0 vs. 17.7 all-cause deaths, per 100 person-months (HR 1.13, 95%CI 0.93-1.38, median follow-up 30 days). CONCLUSIONS This observational analysis supports continued ARB or ACEI use for patients already using these medications before SARS-CoV-2 infection. The novel beneficial association observed among outpatients between users of ARBs vs. ACEIs on hospitalization or mortality should be confirmed with randomized trials.
Continuation versus discontinuation of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19: a prospective, randomised, open-label trial.
The Lancet. Respiratory medicine. 2021;(3):275-284
BACKGROUND Biological considerations suggest that renin-angiotensin system inhibitors might influence the severity of COVID-19. We aimed to evaluate whether continuing versus discontinuing renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers) affects outcomes in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. METHODS The REPLACE COVID trial was a prospective, randomised, open-label trial done at 20 large referral hospitals in seven countries worldwide. Eligible participants were aged 18 years and older who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and were receiving a renin-angiotensin system inhibitor before admission. Individuals with contraindications to continuation or discontinuation of renin-angiotensin system inhibitor therapy were excluded. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to continuation or discontinuation of their renin-angiotensin system inhibitor using permuted block randomisation, with allocation concealed using a secure web-based randomisation system. The primary outcome was a global rank score in which participants were ranked across four hierarchical tiers incorporating time to death, duration of mechanical ventilation, time on renal replacement or vasopressor therapy, and multiorgan dysfunction during the hospitalisation. Primary analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population. The REPLACE COVID trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04338009. FINDINGS Between March 31 and Aug 20, 2020, 152 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to either continue or discontinue renin-angiotensin system inhibitor therapy (continuation group n=75; discontinuation group n=77). Mean age of participants was 62 years (SD 12), 68 (45%) were female, mean body-mass index was 33 kg/m2 (SD 8), and 79 (52%) had diabetes. Compared with discontinuation of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors, continuation had no effect on the global rank score (median rank 73 [IQR 40-110] for continuation vs 81 [38-117] for discontinuation; β-coefficient 8 [95% CI -13 to 29]). There were 16 (21%) of 75 participants in the continuation arm versus 14 (18%) of 77 in the discontinuation arm who required intensive care unit admission or invasive mechanical ventilation, and 11 (15%) of 75 participants in the continuation group versus ten (13%) of 77 in the discontinuation group died. 29 (39%) participants in the continuation group and 28 (36%) participants in the discontinuation group had at least one adverse event (χ2 test of adverse events between treatment groups p=0·77). There was no difference in blood pressure, serum potassium, or creatinine during follow-up across the two groups. INTERPRETATION Consistent with international society recommendations, renin-angiotensin system inhibitors can be safely continued in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. FUNDING REPLACE COVID Investigators, REPLACE COVID Trial Social Fundraising Campaign, and FastGrants.
Lack of association of antihypertensive drugs with the risk and severity of COVID-19: A meta-analysis.
Journal of cardiology. 2021;(5):482-491
BACKGROUND The association of antihypertensive drugs with the risk and severity of COVID-19 remains unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS We systematically searched PubMed, MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), ClinicalTrials.gov, and medRxiv for publications before July 13, 2020. Cohort studies and case-control studies that contain information on the association of antihypertensive agents including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium-channel blockers (CCBs), β-blockers, and diuretics with the risk and severity of COVID-19 were selected. The random or fixed-effects models were used to pool the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for the outcomes. The literature search yielded 53 studies that satisfied our inclusion criteria, which comprised 39 cohort studies and 14 case-control studies. These studies included a total of 2,100,587 participants. We observed no association between prior usage of antihypertensive medications including ACEIs/ARBs, CCBs, β-blockers, or diuretics and the risk and severity of COVID-19. Additionally, when only hypertensive patients were included, the severity and mortality were lower with prior usage of ACEIs/ARBs (overall OR of 0.81, 95% CI 0.66-0.99, p < 0.05 and overall OR of 0.77, 95% CI 0.66-0.91, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS Taken together, usage of antihypertensive drugs is not associated with the risk and severity of COVID-19. Based on the current available literature, it is not recommended to abstain from the usage of these drugs in COVID-19 patients. REGISTRATION The meta-analysis was registered on OSF (https://osf.io/ynd5g).
Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Hypertension: The Role of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 and the Renin-Angiotensin System.
Advances in chronic kidney disease. 2020;(5):404-411
Hypertension emerged from early reports as a potential risk factor for worse outcomes for persons with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Among the putative links between hypertension and COVID-19 is a key counter-regulatory component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS): angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 facilitates entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, into host cells. Because RAS inhibitors have been suggested to increase ACE2 expression, health-care providers and patients have grappled with the decision of whether to discontinue these medications during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, experimental models of analogous viral pneumonias suggest RAS inhibitors may exert protective effects against acute lung injury. We review how RAS and ACE2 biology may affect outcomes in COVID-19 through pulmonary and other systemic effects. In addition, we briefly detail the data for and against continuation of RAS inhibitors in persons with COVID-19 and summarize the current consensus recommendations from select specialty organizations.
Sacubitril/Valsartan in Advanced Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction: Rationale and Design of the LIFE Trial.
JACC. Heart failure. 2020;(10):789-799
The PARADIGM-HF (Prospective Comparison of Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker Neprilysin Inhibitor With Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure) trial reported that sacubitril/valsartan (S/V), an angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor, significantly reduced mortality and heart failure (HF) hospitalization in HF patients with a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). However, fewer than 1% of patients in the PARADIGM-HF study had New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class IV symptoms. Accordingly, data that informed the use of S/V among patients with advanced HF were limited. The LIFE (LCZ696 in Hospitalized Advanced Heart Failure) study was a 24-week prospective, multicenter, double-blinded, double-dummy, active comparator trial that compared the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of S/V with those of valsartan in patients with advanced HFrEF. The trial planned to randomize 400 patients ≥18 years of age with advanced HF, defined as an EF ≤35%, New York Heart Association functional class IV symptoms, elevated natriuretic peptide concentration (B-type natriuretic peptide [BNP] ≥250 pg/ml or N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide [NT-proBNP] ≥800 pg/ml), and ≥1 objective finding of advanced HF. Following a 3- to 7-day open label run-in period with S/V (24 mg/26 mg twice daily), patients were randomized 1:1 to S/V titrated to 97 mg/103 mg twice daily versus 160 mg of V twice daily. The primary endpoint was the proportional change from baseline in the area under the curve for NT-proBNP levels measured through week 24. Secondary and tertiary endpoints included clinical outcomes and safety and tolerability. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment in the LIFE trial was stopped prematurely to ensure patient safety and data integrity. The primary analysis consists of the first 335 randomized patients whose clinical follow-up examination results were not severely impacted by COVID-19. (Entresto [LCZ696] in Advanced Heart Failure [LIFE STUDY] [HFN-LIFE]; NCT02816736).