Renin–Angiotensin–Aldosterone System Inhibitors in Patients with Covid-19

Type of publication:


Muthiah Vaduganathan, Orly Vardeny, Thomas Michel, John J.V. McMurray, Marc A. Pfeffer, M.D, and Scott D. Solomon.

The renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) is an elegant cascade of vasoactive peptides that orchestrate key processes in human physiology. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) and SARS-CoV-2, which have been responsible for the SARS epidemic in 2002 to 2004 and for the more recent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, respectively, interface with the RAAS through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), an enzyme that physiologically counters RAAS activation but also functions as a receptor for both SARS viruses.1,2 The interaction between the SARS viruses and ACE2 has been proposed as a potential factor in their infectivity,3,4 and there are concerns about the use of RAAS inhibitors that may alter ACE2 and whether variation in ACE2 expression may be in part responsible for disease virulence in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.5-8 Indeed, some media sources and health systems have recently called for the discontinuation of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), both prophylactically and in the context of suspected Covid-19.

Published: 2 April 2020
Journal: The New England Journal of Medicine, volume Special Report


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