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A boy aged 1 year, recently diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, has to be treated with enalapril according to the heart failure protocol. The physician wants to know which adverse events she can expect.
Structured clinical question
What are the potential adverse events related to administration of an ACE inhibitor to children with heart failure? What is the prevalence and what are the possible risk factors?
Electronic databases (PubMed/Medline and Embase) and reference lists of relevant articles were searched with the following strategy: ‘angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors’ and ‘heart failure’ and ‘children’. The search yielded 415 individual articles, of which 14 were identified as relevant.
Heart failure is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children.1
It is commonly treated with ACE inhibitors (ACE-i) despite the lack of evidence on its efficacy.2 This treatment is based on the assumption that blocking of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system has a positive effect on morbidity and mortality, as it does in adults with heart failure.3–6 In adults, the most prevalent adverse events (AEs) related to the use of ACER-i are renal failure,7 8 hypotension,9 10 hyperkalemia,9 11 cough12 and angioedema.13 It is assumed that the safety profile of ACE-i differs for children and differs from that for adults, and for children of different ages, as growth and development contribute to variation in the disposition and effect of most drugs administered …
Contributors The article is a critical appraisal of the literature on safety of ACE inhibitors in paediatric heart failure. MdeM, MD, SL and SNdeW had the idea for the article. MdeM and MD performed the literature search. MdeM, MD, SL and SNdeW wrote the article. CC, FK, IJ, MB, FBL, VS, AS, MB, IK and JB critically reviewed the drafts and made suggestions for improvement. SNdeW is the guarantor.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.