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Papers And Short Reports

Controlled trial of enalapril in patients with chronic fluid overload undergoing dialysis

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 16 April 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1089
  1. Brian Oldenburg,
  2. Graham J Macdonald,
  3. Sue Shelley


    About one third of patients receiving dialysis for end stage renal failure have chronic fluid overload despite advice to restrict their oral fluid intake. To investigate the potential of an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor in reducing the urge to drink and consequent gain in weight, a double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial of enalapril was conducted in 25 patients receiving dialysis who had fluid overload. The trial comprised a baseline period of four weeks; two periods of treatment, each of four weeks, during which patients received either placebo or enalapril 5 mg twice each week; and a follow up period of four weeks. Five patients withdrew from the trial, one because of an adverse drug reaction to enalapril. A range of biochemical and behavioural variables was measured during the baseline period, at the completion of periods 1 and 2, and during follow up. These variables included gain in weight between dialysis sessions; blood pressure; plasma concentrations of sodium, angiotensin II, and vasopressin; plasma renin and angiotensin converting enzyme activities; osmolality; and estimations of thirst, intake of fluid, and control of drinking. Enalapril caused a significant reduction in gain in weight between dialysis sessions, thirst, and oral intake of fluid in parallel with significantly increased renin activity, significantly decreased angiotensin converting enzyme activity, and decreased concentrations of angiotensin II. Gain in weight and angiotensin converting enzyme activity returned to baseline values once patients stopped taking enalapril.

    These results suggest that enalapril may act on the renin-angiotensin system and reduce intake of fluid by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme.