Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Randomized trial on continuing versus suspending ACEi and ARBs in COVID-19

News - Sep. 1, 2020

BRACE CORONA: Continuing vs. Suspending ACE Inhibitors and ARBs in COVID-19

Presented at the ESC congress 2020 by: Prof. Renato D. Lopes, MD, PhD (Durham, NC, USA)

Introduction and methods

There have been conflicting hypotheses about the potential impact of ACEi and ARBs in patients with COVID-19. On the one hand, it has been hypothesized that RAAS inhibition could be harmful in COVID-19 patients. ACEi and ARBs could increase ACE2 receptor expression and enhance viral entry leading to worse outcomes in COVID-19 patients. On the other hand, it has been hypothesized that RAAS inhibition is protective. The rationale behind this hypothesis is that diminished production of angiotensin II with ACEi or ARBs enhances the generation of angiotensin (1-7), which reduces inflammation and fibrosis and could reduce lung injury.

The BRACE CORONA trial was a multicenter, randomized clinical trial that randomly allocated 659 hospitalized patients (≥18 years of age) with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and who used ACEi or ARBs to one of two strategies: 1) suspension of ACEi/ARB treatment for 30 days or 2) continued use of ACEi/ARBs. Patients who were hospitalized due to decompensated HF in the last 12 months, who used >3 anti-hypertensive drugs, who used sacubitril/valsartan or who were hemodynamically unstable at presentation were excluded from the study. The primary outcome was the number of days alive and out of hospital at 30 days.

Main results


This randomized trial provided evidence that suspension ACEi/ARB therapy for 30 days in COVID-19 patients did not impact the number of days alive and out of hospital at 30 days compared with continued use of ACEi/ARB therapy.

-Our reporting is based on the information provided at the ESC congress-

Watch a video on this trial by prof. Lopes

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