Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Aims: The renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system ( RAAS ) represents a key therapeutic target in heart failure ( HF ) management. However, conventional agents that block this system induce a reflex increase in plasma renin activity ( PRA ), which may lead to RAAS ‘escape'. Direct renin inhibitors ( DRIs ) have been developed that decrease PRA and thus may provide a greater RAAS blockade. Aliskiren is the first orally active DRI. Plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide ( BNP ) have been observed to be reduced with aliskiren compared with placebo. The aim of the Aliskiren Trial of Minimizing OutcomeS for Patients with HEart failuRE ( ATMOSPHERE ) study is to evaluate the effect of both aliskiren and enalapril monotherapy and aliskiren/enalapril combination therapy on cardiovascular death and HF hospitalization in patients with chronic systolic HF, NYHA functional class II–IV symptoms, and elevated plasma levels of BNP. Methods: Patients tolerant to at least 10 mg or equivalent of enalapril will undergo an open-label run-in period where they receive enalapril then aliskiren. Approximately 7000 patients tolerating this run-in period will then be randomized 1:1:1 to aliskiren monotherapy, enalapril monotherapy, or the combination. The primary endpoints of ATMOSPHERE are ( i ) whether the aliskiren/enalapril combination is superior to enalapril monotherapy in delaying time to first occurrence of cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization and ( ii ) whether aliskiren monotherapy is superior or at least non-inferior to enalapril monotherapy on this endpoint. Perspective: The ATMOSPHERE study will definitively determine the role of a DRI strategy additional to or as an alternative to conventional RAAS blockade in patients with chronic systolic HF.

School/Institute

Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Journal Article

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