Effect of Strict Blood Pressure Control and ACE-Inhibition on Progression of Chronic Renal Failure in Pediatric Patients
Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Progression and Renoprotective Pharmacotherapy in Children With Chronic Renal Failure
  • Phase

    Phase 3
  • Study Type

  • Status

    Completed No Results Posted
  • Intervention/Treatment

    ramipril telmisartan ...
  • Study Participants

In children with chronic kidney disease, progression to end-stage renal failure is associated with high patient morbidity and poor quality of life. In adults, inhibition of the renin angiotensin system (RAS) slows down the rate of renal failure progression. This concept is as yet unproven in children, in whom chronic renal failure (CRF) is more commonly due to hypo/dysplastic malformations than to acquired glomerulopathies as typical for adult chronic kidney disease. The current project aims at assessing the genetic and molecular mechanisms and cardiovascular consequences of progressive CRF and to develop a strategy of pharmacological renoprotection in children.
Chronic kidney diseases affecting the nephron mass are characterized by a progressive decline of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) occurring irrespectively of the cause of the renal damage once a critical number of nephrons has been lost. Current clinical research efforts focus on preventive strategies to slow down or arrest disease progression. Systemic hypertension and glomerular hyperfiltration with resulting proteinuria and activation of vasoactive, profibrotic and proinflammatory systems have been identified as major causes of further nephron damage. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are not only potent antihypertensive agents but also reduce proteinuria, glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis via reduction of the local angiotensin tone in the kidney, and have been demonstrated to slow down renal failure progression in adult patients. Childhood-onset ESRD is a rare but particularly devastating disease with poor life expectancy and quality of life. Chronic renal failure in children is caused by a different spectrum of nephropathies than in adults, with a preponderance of congenital or inherited abnormalities. Since hypertension, proteinuria and tubulointerstitial fibrosis are also common in pediatric chronic renal failure, there is a rationale for pharmacological renoprotection by ACE inhibition in children. The prospective, randomized European clinical trial launched by our consortium will provide the critical mass to assess several aspects of renoprotective therapy in children. Specifically, the trial is designed to address the following scientific objectives:

Objective 1 is to evaluate whether ACE inhibition is equally effective in slowing down the progression rate of chronic renal failure in children with different congenital and acquired renal disorders. 400 pediatric patients will be stratified according to their underlying diseases, and the rate of loss in glomerular filtration rate will be assessed from 6 months before to 5 years after start of treatment with the ACE inhibitor ramipril.

Objective 2 of the trial is to evaluate whether renal failure progression in patients treated with a fixed dose of ramipril can be further slowed down by additional antihypertensive treatment, achieving a blood pressure below the 50th percentile. To this end, patients will be randomized upon initiation of ramipril to either intensified (aiming below 50th percentile of 24-hour mean arterial pressure) or conventional antihypertensive treatment.

Several gene polymorphisms have been described that may affect the rate of renal failure progression and/or the individual susceptibility to ACE inhibition. These polymorphisms include genes encoding for key proteins of the renin-angiotensin system and extracellular matrix turnover. In addition, we will screen for novel polymorphisms in genes determining structural proteins of the glomerular filter, and search for gene mutations causing renal hypo-/dysplasia. Objective 3 is to evaluate whether any of these mutations predict spontaneous disease progression and the therapeutic response to ACE inhibition and intensified blood pressure control.

Glomerular endothelin (ET1) synthesis is upregulated in chronic renal failure, and urinary ET1 excretion is correlated with disease progression. ET1 antagonists partially preserve renal function and decrease proteinuria independent of the angiotensin tone. Objective 4 of the trial is to assess ET1 turnover before and after start of ACE inhibition, and to evaluate a possible predictive role of ET1 and/or ET1 degrading peptidase excretion for the persistence of proteinuria and disease progression during ACE inhibition and intensified antihypertensive therapy.

Long-term survival of children with chronic renal failure is compromised by precocious atherosclerosis and excessive cardiovascular morbidity. Objective 5 is to assess and correlate prospectively the metabolic causes and morphological consequences of uremic cardiovascular disease in children, and to define their relationship with disease progression during ACE inhibition and intensified blood pressure control. Homocysteine metabolism, apolipoprotein variability, gene polymorphisms putatively involved in atherosclerosis, inflammation states, myocardial function and carotid intima-media thickness will be assessed and compared to a reference group of age-matched healthy children.
Study Started
Jan 31
Primary Completion
Jul 31
Study Completion
Jan 31
Last Update
Jan 12

Drug ACE Inhibition

ACE inhibitor ramipril (6 mg/m²/day) will be given to all subjects.

  • Other names: Delix

Drug Intensified Blood Pressure Control

Any antihypertensive drugs except ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers will be allowed.

Drug Add-on Angiotensin Receptor Blockade

In patients who show persistent or breakthrough proteinuria at the end of the initial study period, telmisartan (50 mg/m²/day) will be added to the existing medication.

  • Other names: Micardis

Conventional BP Control Active Comparator

Targeted 24-hour mean arterial pressure will be the 50th-95th percentile for age.

Intensified BP Control Experimental

Targeted 24-hour mean arterial pressure will be the 5th to 50th percentile for age.


Inclusion Criteria:

Age 3-18 years
Moderate state of renal failure (creatinine clearance 15 - 75 ml / min / 1.73 m²)
Mean arterial blood pressure (ABPM) > 50.percentile and/or antihypertensive treatment
Written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

Age <3 years or >18 years at start of study
Unstable clinical condition (vomiting, anorexia, etc) or superimposed important disease
Unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis
Urological surgery possibly affecting renal function expected during study period
Insufficient compliance with prescribed antihypertensive medication during the run-in period
Secondary renal diseases such as lupus, amyloidosis and primary hyperoxaluria, and patients treated with immunosuppressive agents (including corticosteroids)
Severe primary cardiac disease, hepatic insufficiency and malabsorption syndrome
Erythropoietin or growth hormone therapy with a duration of less than 3 months prior to run-in period
No Results Posted