Am Heart J. 2022 Feb 7:S0002-8703(22)00024-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2022.01.015. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Renin-angiotensin aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi) are commonly used among patients hospitalized with a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (COVID-19). We evaluated whether continuation versus discontinuation of RAASi were associated with short term clinical or biochemical outcomes.
METHODS: The RAAS-COVID-19 trial was a randomized, open label study in adult patients previously treated with RAASi who are hospitalized with COVID-19 (NCT04508985). Participants were randomized 1:1 to discontinue or continue RAASi. The primary outcome was a global rank score calculated from baseline to day 7 (or discharge) incorporating clinical events and biomarker changes. Global rank scores were compared between groups using the Wilcoxon test statistic and the negative binomial test (using incident rate ratio [IRR]) and the intention-to-treat principle.
RESULTS: Overall, 46 participants were enrolled; 21 participants were randomized to discontinue RAASi and 25 to continue. Patients' mean age was 71.5 years and 43.5% were female. Discontinuation of RAASi, versus continuation, resulted in a non-statistically different mean global rank score (discontinuation 6 [standard deviation [SD] 6.3] vs continuation 3.8 (SD 2.5); p= 0.60). The negative binomial analysis identified that discontinuation increased the risk of adverse outcomes (IRR 1.67 [95% CI 1.06 to 2.62]; p=0.027); RAASi discontinuation increased brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels (% change from baseline: +16.7% vs. -27.5%; p= 0.024) and the incidence of acute heart failure (33% vs. 4.2%, p=0.016).
CONCLUSION: RAASi continuation in participants hospitalized with COVID-19 appears safe; discontinuation increased BNP levels and may increase risk of acute heart failure; where possible, RAASi should be continued.