Discovery of New Endpoint Will Improve Future Chronic Kidney Disease Research

According to a story from Renal & Urology News, a recent study found that monitoring of albuminuria, a condition in which the protein albumin appears in the urine, can help predict if a patient with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is at risk of progression to end stage renal disease. This means that albuminuria can be used as an alternative endpoint in future clinical trials that test drugs intended to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. In fact, it offers some advantages over other commonly used endpoints.

About Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is an illness in which the functionality of the kidneys is affected over time. This progressive disease can occur over a period of months or years and often results in eventual kidney failure. This disease often causes no symptoms at first. There are a number of risk factors for chronic kidney disease, such as diabetes, glomerulonephritis, family history, and high blood pressure. The cause is not known in all cases. As the disease progresses, symptoms such as leg swelling, confusion, fatigue, vomiting, loss of appetite, heart disease, bone disease, anemia, and high blood pressure may appear. Treatment may include dietary changes, certain medications, and, in later stages, dialysis or kidney transplant. The most common cause of death for people with chronic kidney disease is cardiovascular disease, which may appear before the kidneys completely shut down. To learn more about chronic kidney disease, click here.

Study Findings

Many clinical trials that test new therapies for chronic kidney disease are often limited to patients whose disease has already reached an advanced stage. This is because in the past endpoints used in these trials have been limited to those that only appear once the disease has become advanced, such as end stage renal disease (ESRD). 

An analysis of data from earlier trials, which included data from close to 30,000 patients, revealed that a treatment’s impact on the endpoints that were used in the studies correlated well with a drug’s impact on albuminuria. This means that commonly used endpoints such as glomerular filtration rate, which only becomes useful in end stage renal disease, were effectively interchangeable with albuminuria. The effect was most pronounced in patients who already had high albuminuria at baseline.

These findings will allow for shorter, less costly chronic kidney disease trials that will also be available to a greater number of patients, including those whose disease has not reached an advanced state. Find the original study here.


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