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Efficacy and dosage of enalapril in congenital and acquired heart disease.
  1. A M Leversha,
  2. N J Wilson,
  3. P M Clarkson,
  4. A L Calder,
  5. M C Ramage,
  6. J M Neutze
  1. Cardiology Department, Green Lane Hospital, Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand.


    In a tertiary referral centre 63 patients underwent 67 treatment periods with enalapril. The median age was 5.4 months. All children had signs of heart failure: congestive cardiac failure with breathlessness at rest was present in 88%. Haemodynamic groups were left-to-right shunt (n = 15), impaired ventricular function (n = 14), after cardiac surgery (n = 23), valvar regurgitation (n = 12), and hypertension (n = 3). Serial clinical, radiological, and laboratory data were used to judge outcome. The mean (SD) maximal dose was 0.30 (0.21) mg/kg/day. Thirty nine (58%) patients improved, 20 (30%) showed no improvement, and eight (12%) had side effects requiring discontinuation of enalapril. Renal failure in eight patients was related to young age, low weight, and left-to-right shunt group. Three patients died in congestive heart failure with renal failure. Enalapril was clinically safe and effective for children with cardiac failure secondary to ventricular impairment, valvar regurgitation, or after cardiac surgery. Renal failure was a problem in young infants with left-to-right shunts.

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