Was the Enalapril Dose Too Low in the PARADIGM-HF Trial?

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Heart failure (HF) is a common clinical syndrome associated with significant morbidity and mortality, and there remains a clear need for innovative therapies that can modify disease progression. Sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ696) is a novel complex that combines simultaneous neprilysin inhibition and angiotensin II receptor blockade, that has demonstrated significant cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization reduction in the Prospective Comparison of Angiotensin Receptor/Neprilysin Inhibitor (ARNI) With Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) trial when compared with evidence-based doses of the gold standard ACE inhibitor enalapril. In this comprehensive review, the authors discuss historical trials that have investigated clinical outcomes utilizing variable dosing levels of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction. A critical analysis of the highlighted studies is proposed in the context of current HF management guidelines and HF clinical practice. In conclusion, based on current evidence, it is unclear whether a maximum recommended enalapril dose would promote improved patient outcomes compared with an intermediate dose. However, no prospective study to date comparing ACE inhibitor doses has documented that higher doses result in significant mortality reduction, although the data suggest that there may be a decrease in HF hospitalizations when compared with lower doses.

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