Medical Research Archives
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic when it was first reported that SARS-CoV-2 used membrane-bound angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) as its receptor for entry into cells, warnings were raised against the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) because of their potential to increase ACE2 expression. These reports ignored the adverse effects that the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) exerts on the cardiovascular system and kidneys via its primary hormone angiotensin (Ang) II acting upon AT receptors that could exacerbate the cytokine storm induced by SARS-CoV-2 . At one point it was even recommended that COVID-19 patients suffering from cardiovascular collapse be administered Ang II to restore blood pressure rather than norepinephrine or vasopressin . An alternative strategy for treating COVID-19 was the administration of soluble ACE2 (sACE2) to act as a decoy receptor for the virus, misdirecting it away from vulnerable cells expressing membrane bound ACE2 . However, a paper published in early 2021 described a scenario in which sACE2 and vasopressin played essential roles in SARS-CoV-2 infection of cells vulnerable to the virus. This commentary challenges both the and reports based upon their misconceptions and technical errors that pose a threat to the administration of life-saving therapies for severely affected COVID-19 patients.
Speth, Robert C. and Bader, Michael, "Why Angiotensin II is a Poor Choice for Circulatory Support of Ventilated COVID-19 Patients Compared to Vasopressin" (2022). HPD Articles. 38.