Experimental data and few clinical non-randomized studies have shown that inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) associated or not with the use of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) could delay or even halt the progression of chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN). In this retrospective historical study, we investigated whether ACE inhibition (ACEI) associated or not with the use of MMF has the same effect in humans as in experimental studies and what factors are associated with a clinical response. A total of 160 transplant patients with biopsy-proven CAN were enrolled. Eighty-one of them were on ACE therapy (G1) and 80 on ACEI_free therapy (G2). Patients were further stratified for the use of MMF. G1 patients showed a marked decrease in proteinuria and stabilized serum creatinine with time. Five-year graft survival after CAN diagnosis was more frequent in G1 (86.9 vs 67.7%; P < 0.05). In patients on ACEI-free therapy, the use of MMF was associated with better graft survival. The use of ACEI therapy protected 79% of the patients against graft loss (OR = 0.079, 95%CI = 0.015-0.426; P = 0.003). ACEI and MMF or the use of MMF alone after CAN diagnosis conferred protection against graft loss. This finding is well correlated with experimental studies in which ACEI and MMF interrupt the progression of chronic allograft dysfunction and injury. The use of ACEI alone or in combination with MMF significantly reduced proteinuria and stabilized serum creatinine, consequently improving renal allograft survival.
Renin-angiotensin system; Mycophenolate mofetil; Renal allograft survival; Kidney transplantation