Valsartan Reduces Serum Cystatin C and the Renal Vascular Resistance in Patients with Essential Hypertension
AbstractA high level of albuminuria and increased renal vascular resistance are associated with hypertensive renal damage. In this study, the authors investigated the effect of the angiotensin II receptor blocker, valsartan, on renal function and intrarenal hemodynamics in non-diabetic patients with essential hypertension. A prospective three-month study of the effects of valsartan, 40–80 mg/day, was performed in 30 hypertensive patients. As an assessment of renal function, serum creatinine, urine albumin/creatinine (Alb/Cr) ratio, and serum cystatin C levels were evaluated. Doppler ultrasonography of the kidney was performed for the evaluation of renal hemodynamics. Peak-systolic, end-diastolic, and mean velocities of interlobar arteries were evaluated, and the pulsatility index (PI) and resistive index (RI) were calculated. It was determined that patients with microalbuminuria had higher levels of serum cystatin C, PI, and RI compared to patients without microalbuminuria. Valsartan treatment significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure and decreased the Alb/Cr ratio. Serum creatinine was not changed, whereas serum cystatin C levels were significantly reduced. Valsartan treatment significantly decreased the PI in all patients and both PI and RI in patients with microalbuminuria. These results suggest that the angiotensin II receptor blocker, valsartan, is able to improve renal function by reducing renal vascular resistance in hypertensive patients, especially in patients with microalbuminuria, and may prevent future renal failure in patients with essential hypertension.