Sacubitril/valsartan is a combined neprilysin inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blocker designed for treatment of heart failure (HF). Nonetheless, its renal protective effect remained an issue of debate. This retrospective cohort study investigated the renal protective effect of sacubitril/valsartan in HF patients. HF patients on sacubitril/valsartan or valsartan for > 30 days were matched for gender, age, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) to be enrolled into analysis. The follow-up period was 18 months. The outcomes included end eGFR, renal function decline defined as 20% reduction of eGFR, mortality, and HF-related hospitalization. Each group had 137 patients after matching. The mean age was 72.7 years and 65.7% were male. Mean eGFR was 70.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 and LVEF was 54.0% at baseline. Overall, the eGFR of sacubitril/valsartan groups was significantly higher than valsartan group at the end (P < 0.01). Subgroup analysis showed that the difference in eGFR was significant in subgroups with LVEF ≥ 40% or eGFR ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Multivariate Cox regression model showed that sacubitril/valsartan group had significantly reduced risk for renal function decline (hazard ratio: 0.5, 95% confidence interval: 0.3–0.9). Kaplan–Meier curve showed no difference in the risk for cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality or HF-related hospitalization. We showed renal protective effect of neprilysin inhibition in HF patients and specified that subgroups with LVEF ≥ 40% or eGFR ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 were sensitive to this effect, suggesting an optimal subgroup of this treatment.
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