Chronic renal failure occurs in about 20% of long-term survivors treated with bone marrow transplant (BMT) regimens that include total-body irradiation (TBI); this syndrome is called BMT nephropathy. In a previous study in a syngeneic rat BMT model it was shown that captopril (an inhibitor of angiotensin-converting enzyme) could be used to treat experimental BMT nephropathy. Current studies were designed to determine whether captopril could also be used to prevent BMT nephropathy. Rats received 14 to 18.5 Gy TBI in six fractions over 3 days followed by syngeneic BMT. Seven days before TBI half the rats were started on captopril (500 mg/liter in the drinking water). Blood urea nitrogen, ratios of urine protein to creatinine, serum creatinine, and blood pressure were used to assess renal function. In animals receiving TBI alone, BMT nephropathy developed 3 to 6 months after transplant. At 6 months after TBI, captopril-treated animals had lower systolic blood pressure and better-preserved renal function than animals receiving TBI alone, with dose-modifying factors of about 1.3. The captopril treatment had no effect on bone marrow ablation by TBI. Captopril appears to be safe and effective in the prophylaxis of BMT nephropathy.

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