Statins given early decrease progression of kidney disease

This image shows a cross section of a kidney. Credit: Holly Fischer/Wikipedia

Results from a study by University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers show that pravastatin, a medicine widely used for treatment of high cholesterol, also slows down the growth of kidney cysts in children and young adults with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

ADPKD is the most common potentially lethal , affecting at least 1 in 1000 people. ADPKD is characterized by progressive kidney enlargement due to cyst growth, which results in loss of over time. At one time, ADPKD was termed "adult" but researchers are finding that clinical manifestations may be evident in childhood and even in utero. This strongly suggests that earlier intervention in childhood may have the greatest long term effect on the progression of the disease.

"Based on our findings, we strongly recommend consideration of pravastatin use in ADPKD children and unless there is a medical reason against taking a statin as determined by the patients' doctor," says the co-principal investigator Melissa A. Cadnapaphornchai, MD, from CU School of Medicine's departments of pediatrics & medicine, who conducted the study with Robert W. Schrier, MD, at the CU School of Medicine. "This is very exciting news as this is the first medication shown to help control kidney disease in ADPKD children."

The three-year study began with 110 children/young adults ages 8 to 22 years with ADPKD and finished with 92 participants. Each participant was randomized to receive either pravastatin or placebo completely by chance by a procedure similar to the toss of a coin. Treatment with pravastatin was associated with no significant side effects. However, it should not be used during pregnancy

The researchers emphasize that is not FDA-approved for the treatment of ADPKD; therefore, it is essential that patients discuss the potential risks and benefits of treatment, including possible psychosocial and financial implications, with their doctor.

More information: This study Effect of Pravastatin on Total Kidney Volume, Left Ventricular Mass Index, and Microalbuminuria in Pediatric Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease has been published in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology, Volume 9, Number 5, May 2014.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gene mutations predict early, severe form of kidney disease

Oct 24, 2011

The most common kidney disease passed down through families, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) affects one in 400 to 1,000 individuals and is characterized by cysts on the kidneys. The condition slowly ...

New drug target for kidney disease discovered

Apr 26, 2011

Two discoveries at UC Santa Barbara point to potential new drug therapies for patients with kidney disease. The findings are published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Recommended for you

Haiti cholera outbreak kills 132 in 2014

52 minutes ago

Haiti's cholera epidemic has killed 132 people and may have infected nearly 15,000 others so far this year, a UN agency report said Wednesday.

Ebola vaccine promising in first human trials

55 minutes ago

Researchers say they are one step closer to developing a viable Ebola vaccine, with a Phase 1 trial showing promising results, but it will still be months at least before it could be used in the field.

At one month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

3 hours ago

The U.S. program that requires weeks of monitoring for travelers from African countries with Ebola reaches the one-month mark Thursday. And so far, no cases of the disease have turned up.

EU calls for 5,000 doctors to fight Ebola

4 hours ago

The European Commission called for 5,000 doctors to be sent from EU states to combat west Africa's Ebola epidemic, a European source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.