Statins given early decrease progression of kidney disease

May 8, 2014, University of Colorado Denver
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.

Explore further: Mayo Clinic identifies promising treatment for inherited form of kidney disease

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.

Related Stories

Mayo Clinic identifies promising treatment for inherited form of kidney disease

November 4, 2012
A drug therapy shows promise for treating an inherited form of kidney disease called autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), Mayo Clinic researchers say. The medication, tolvaptan, slowed the pace of kidney ...

Gene mutations predict early, severe form of kidney disease

October 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 ...

Scientists make strides toward drug therapy for inherited kidney disease

October 27, 2011
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that patients with an inherited kidney disease may be helped by a drug that is currently available for other uses. The findings are published in this week's issue of the Proceedings ...

New drug target for kidney disease discovered

April 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.

Research findings point to new therapeutic approach for common cause of kidney failure

September 5, 2013
New research has uncovered a process that is defective in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, a common cause of kidney failure. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the ...

Recommended for you

A multimodal intervention to reduce one of the most common healthcare-acquired infections

March 16, 2018
Surgical site infections are the most frequent health care-associated infections in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this type of infection can affect up to one-third of surgical patients ...

Parasitic worms need their intestinal microflora too

March 14, 2018
Scientists at The University of Manchester have cast new light on a little understood group of worm infections, which collectively afflicts 1 in 4 people, mainly children—in the developing the world.

New imaging approach offers unprecedented views of staph infection

March 14, 2018
Eric Skaar, PhD, MPH, marvels at the images on his computer screen—3-D molecular-level views of infection in a mouse. "I'm pretty convinced that these are the most advanced images in infection biology," said Skaar, Ernest ...

Compound scores key win in battle against antibiotic resistance

March 14, 2018
Researchers at Oregon State University have made a key advance in the fight against drug resistance, crafting a compound that genetically neutralizes a widespread bacterial pathogen's ability to thwart antibiotics.

Helicobacter creates immune system blind spot

March 13, 2018
The gastric bacterium H. pylori colonizes the stomachs of around half the human population and can lead to the development of gastric cancer. It is usually acquired in childhood and persists life-long, despite a strong inflammatory ...

Taking the jab (and the chill) out of vaccination

March 13, 2018
Scientists in Cairns (Australia) and Cardiff (Wales) have taken an important first step towards solving two problems that hinder access to vaccines: they need to be kept cool, and no one likes needles.


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.