Aldosterone blockade in CKD: emphasis on pharmacology
Adv Chronic Kidney Dis
Besides its epithelial effect on sodium retention and potassium excretion in the distal tubule, aldosterone promotes inflammation and fibrosis in the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels. As glomerular filtration rate falls, aldosterone is inappropriately elevated relative to extracellular fluid expansion. In addition, studies in CKD patients on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and/or direct renin inhibitors have shown that aldosterone levels paradoxically rise in approximately 30% to 40% of patients on these renin-angiotensin system-blocking drugs. Hence, there is interest in using mineralocorticoid receptor blockers that directly target the inflammatory and fibrotic effects of aldosterone in CKD patients. This interest, however, is tempered by a number of unresolved issues, including the safety of using such drugs in advanced CKD and ESRD populations, and the potential for differences in drug efficacy according to race and ethnicity of patient populations. A better understanding of mineralocorticoid receptor blocker pharmacology should help inform future research directions and clinical practice decisions as to how best to use these agents in CKD.
School of Medicine