Slowing the Progression of Adult Chronic Kidney Disease
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- Taal, M.W. Drugs (2004) 64: 2273. doi:10.2165/00003495-200464200-00002
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When kidney disease of any aetiology results in substantial loss of nephrons, a common clinical syndrome, characterised by hypertension, proteinuria and a progressive decline in renal function, ensues. This observation suggests that common mechanisms may contribute to progressive renal injury and that therapeutic interventions that inhibit these common pathways may afford renal protection. Research to date has identified several mechanisms that may contribute to progressive renal injury including glomerular haemodynamic changes, multiple effects of angiotensin II and detrimental effects of excessive filtration of plasma proteins by injured glomeruli. Clinical trials over the past decade have identified several interventions that are effective in slowing the rate of progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The use of ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonists or a combination of the two should be regarded as fundamental to any therapy for slowing the rate of CKD progression. Hypertension should be treated aggressively to achieve a blood pressure target of <130/80mm Hg. Reduction of proteinuria to <0.5 g/day should be regarded as an independent therapeutic goal. Although inconclusive, there is some evidence to support moderate dietary protein restriction to 0.6 g/kg/day in appropriate patients. Hyperlipidaemia may contribute to CKD progression and should be treated to reduce cardiovascular risk and potentially improve renal protection. Smoking cessation should be encouraged and, where necessary, assisted. Among diabetic patients tight glycaemic control should be achieved (glycosylated haemoglobin <7%). These interventions are simple and relatively inexpensive. If applied to all patients with CKD they will result in substantial slowing of renal function decline in many patients and thereby reduce the number who progress to end-stage renal disease and require renal replacement therapy.