BACKGROUND: In COVID-19 patients, aldosterone via angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 deregulation may be responsible for systemic and pulmonary vasoconstriction, inflammation, and oxidative organ damage.
AIM: To verify retrospectively the impact of the mineralcorticoid receptor antagonist canrenone i.v. on the need of invasive ventilatory support and/or all-cause in-hospital mortality.
METHODS: Sixty-nine consecutive COVID-19 patients, hospitalized for moderate to severe respiratory failure at Fondazione Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan, received two different therapeutic approaches in usual care according to the personal skills and pharmacological management experience of the referral medical team. Group A (n = 39) were given vasodilator agents or renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors and group B (n = 30) were given canrenone i.v.
RESULTS: Among the 69 consecutive COVID-19 patients, those not receiving canrenone i.v. (group A) had an event-free rate of 51% and a survival rate of 64%. Group B (given a mean dose of 200 mg/q.d. of canrenone for at least two days of continuous administration) showed an event-free rate of 80% with a survival rate of 87%. Kaplan-Meier analysis for composite outcomes and mortality showed log rank statistics of 0.0004 and 0.0052, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The novelty of our observation relies on the independent positive impact of canrenone on the all-cause mortality and clinical improvement of COVID-19 patients ranging from moderate to severe diseases.