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EClinicalMedicine ; 37: 100962, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275283


Background: Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as telmisartan, have been postulated to treat Covid-19-induced lung inflammation. Methods: This is a parallel-group, randomized, two-arm, open-label, adaptive, multicenter superiority trial with 1:1 allocation ratio. Participants included patients from 18 years of age hospitalized with Covid-19 with 4 or fewer days since symptom onset enrolled at a university and a community hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Exclusion criteria included prior intensive care unit (ICU) admission and use of ARBs/angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors at randomization. Control arm received standard care alone and treatment arm telmisartan 80 mg twice daily for 14 days. Primary outcomes were C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma levels at day 5 and 8 after randomization. Secondary outcomes included time to discharge within 15 days, admission to ICU and death at 15- and 30-days. NCT04355936 (Completed). Findings: A pragmatic decision to end the study before the third interim analysis was made on Oct. 30th due to sharp reduction in recruitment. A total of 162 patients were randomized. 158 patients enrolled between May 14 and October 30 2020, were included in the analysis, 80 in the standard care and 78 in the telmisartan added to standard care group. Baseline absolute CRP serum levels were 5.53 ± 6.19 mg/dL (95% CI 6.91 to 4.15, n = 80) and 9.04 ± 7.69 (95% CI 9.04 to 10.82, n = 74) in the standard care and telmisartan added to standard care groups, respectively. Day 5 control-group CRP levels were 6.06 ± 6.95 mg/dL (95% CI 7.79-4.35, n = 66) while telmisartan group were 3.83 ± 5.08 mg/dL (95% CI 5.08-2.59, n = 66, p = 0.038). Day 8 CRP levels were 6.30 ± 8.19 mg/dL (95% CI 8.79-3.81, n = 44) and 2.37 ± 3.47 mg/dL (95% CI 3.44-1.30, n = 43, p = 0.0098) in the control and telmisartan groups, respectively (all values expressed as mean ± SD). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that telmisartan-treated patients had a lower median time-to-discharge (control=15 days; telmisartan=9 days). Death by day 30 was reduced in the telmisartan-treated group (control 22.54%, 16/71; telmisartan 4.29%, 3/70 participants; p = 0.0023). Composite ICU, mechanical ventilation or death was reduced by telmisartan treatment at days 15 and 30. No adverse events were reported. Interpretation: Our study suggests that the ARB telmisartan, a widely used antihypertensive drug, is safe and could reduce morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients infected with SARS -CoV-2 by anti-inflammatory effects. Further studies employing telmisartan are needed for confirmation of our results and to define its true therapeutic value as a tool against Covid-19.

Front Pharmacol ; 12: 603736, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186854


COVID-19 pandemic demands a swift response to find therapeutic tools that effectively reduce morbidity and mortality. Despite initial fears, evidence from retrospective observational studies supports the inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system as an emerging pathway to delay or moderate angiotensin II-driven lung inflammation. This has triggered several prospective clinical trials. In this commentary we provide an overview and analysis of current ongoing clinical trials aimed at evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) use in COVID-19. The relevance of the results of these trials will have to be interpreted depending on the stage and severity of the disease and in light of the start time of their prescription related to the time of diagnosis of COVID-19 as well as the administered doses.

Lancet Respir Med ; 9(3): 275-284, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117266


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, 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; ß-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.

Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/drug therapy , Withholding Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/virology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome