Methods In a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, alternate doses of angiotensin receptor blockers or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in patients with Type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria were compared. MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials were searched from January 2006 to August 2010. Trials prior to January 2006 were identified from a prior systematic review. Identified outcomes were albumin excretion rate, progression and regression of albuminuria and adverse events.
Results Four trials including 1051 patients compared doses of angiotensin receptor blockers. No trials compared doses of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor. The percentage decline in albumin excretion rate from baseline was greater with higher doses (18% higher, 95% CI 8-28%), the regression to normoalbuminuria was greater (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.22-2.27), with less progression to macroalbuminuria (OR 0.62, CI 0.38-1.02). Adverse events were fewer with lower-dose angiotensin receptor blockers (OR 1.32, 95% CI 0.90-1.92).
Conclusions Higher-dose compared with lower-dose angiotensin receptor blockers in Type 2 diabetes with microalbuminuria are associated with significantly reduced albumin excretion rate and increased regression to normoalbuminuria. Adverse events are more frequent, but not significantly so. There is potential for trials to determine clinical cardiovascular and renal outcomes at differing doses. Our findings support current recommendations to titrate renin-angiotensin inhibitors to maximum dose whilst considering risk of adverse side effects with higher doses.