Rizk JG, Sanchis-Gomar F, Henry BM, Lippi G, Lavie CJ
Purpose of review The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mostly uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) as cellular receptor for entering the host cells. Some, but not all, animal studies have shown that renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors can increase ACE-2 expression. On that premise, it was hypothesized that these agents could make it more likely to develop coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). On the other hand, there was also evidence that being on these agents could lessen the severity of the lung injury in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Herein, we review the available evidence on the role of RAAS inhibitors on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 development. Recent findings Recent randomized controlled trials demonstrate that RAAS blockade or withdrawal does not influence the severity of COVID-19 in patients who are already on these medications. Currently, there is no evidence to support stopping RAAS inhibitors in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Several questions still need to be addressed. Ongoing studies are currently evaluating the de novo use of RAAS inhibitors in patients with COVID-19. Another area that needs to be investigated is whether or not using these medications increase the risk of infection. The wealth of evidence indicates that ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blocker administration has no harmful effects on hospitalizations and severity of COVID-19 in patients already on these medications and might even reduce mortality among hypertensive patients diagnosed with COVID-19. More evidence and data need to be collected, and at this time, these agents should not be discontinued.