Background. We previously reported that the angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist candesartan was effective in reducing blood pressure and microalbuminuria in hypertensive patients with diabetic nephropathy after angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were replaced due to side effects. In the present study, the clinical effects of candesartan were investigated and compared with ACE inhibitors in patients with stage 2 or 3A diabetic nephropathy, mainly with respect to the effects on the urinary excretion of albumin and type IV collagen. Methods. Forty-nine patients (26 males/23 females) with diabetic nephropathy (stage 2 or 3A), including normotensive patients, were the study subjects. The patients were treated with either an ACE inhibitor (23 patients) or candesartan (26 patients) for 11 ± 3 months. The urinary excretion of albumin and urinary type IV collagen was measured. Results. Posttreatment blood pressure tended to decrease, but such a decrease did not reach a statistically significant level, nor did it show any intergroup difference. The urinary albumin excretion was positively correlated with pretreatment mean blood pressure and left ventricular mass index, but the urinary type IV collagen excretion did not show such correlations. The urinary albumin excretion decreased significantly after treatment to a similar extent in both groups, whereas the urinary type IV collagen excretion decreased significantly only in the candesartan group. Conclusion. It was revealed that ACE inhibitors and candesartan reduced urinary albumin excretion to a similar extent in patients with diabetic nephropathy. From the results of the present study, it is inferred that the renoprotective effect of candesartan in diabetic nephropathy may partially differ from that of ACE inhibitors.
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