INTRODUCTION. A local renin-angiotensin system exists in the pulmonary nodules of lymphangioleiomyomatosis patients. Sirolimus, the standard treatment for lymphangioleiomyomatosis, stabilizes lung function, but all patients do not respond to or tolerate sirolimus. As renin-angiotensin systems may affect tumor growth and metastasis, we questioned if angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors affected lymphangioleiomyomatosis disease progression. METHODS. Retrospective study of 426 patients was performed, examining angiotensin-converting enzyme levels, pulmonary function data, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor treatment. RESULTS. Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme levels were elevated in approximately 33% of patients, increased with duration of disease, and were inversely correlated with pulmonary function. Levels decreased significantly over time with sirolimus treatment. Treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors was reported by approximately 15% of patients and was significantly associated with a slower rate of decline in percentage predicted forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO) in patients not treated with sirolimus. No significant differences in rates of decline of FEV1 or DLCO were seen in patients treated with both inhibitors and sirolimus versus sirolimus alone. CONCLUSIONS. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors may slow decline of pulmonary function in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis not treated with sirolimus. These inhibitors may be an option or adjunct in the treatment of lymphangioleiomyomatosis. A clinical trial may be warranted to examine this possibility. FUNDING. NIH.
Wendy K. Steagall, Mario Stylianou, Gustavo Pacheco-Rodriguez, Joel Moss
One hundred five patients (not on sirolimus treatment, out of 316 patients examined) had at least one fasting serum ACE activity level greater than 52 U/l (the upper limit established by the NIH Clinical Research Center, black line).