A controlled, prospective study of the effects of atorvastatin on proteinuria and progression of kidney disease

Am J Kidney Dis. 2003 Mar;41(3):565-70. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2003.50140.


Background: Chronic kidney diseases, particularly if presenting with significant proteinuria, are commonly associated with substantial alteration of serum lipid levels. Experimental evidence suggests that lipid abnormalities may contribute to the progression of kidney disease. However, studies in humans on the subject are scarce.

Methods: In a prospective, controlled open-label study, the authors have evaluated the effects of one-year treatment with atorvastatin, a 3-hydroxy-3-methyglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor, versus no treatment on proteinuria and progression of kidney disease in 56 patients with chronic kidney disease. Before randomization, all patients had already been treated for one year with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin AT1 receptor antagonists (ARBs) and other antihypertensive drugs.

Results: By the end of one-year treatment, urine protein excretion decreased from 2.2 +/- 0.1 to 1.2 +/- 1.0 g every 24 hours (P < 0.01) in patients treated with atorvastatin in addition to ACE inhibitor and ARBs. By contrast, urinary protein excretion decreased only from 2.0 +/- 0.1 to 1.8 +/- 0.1 g every 24 hours (P value not significant) in patients who did not receive atorvastatin in addition to ACE inhibitor or ARBs. During this time, creatinine clearance decreased only slightly and not significantly (from 51 +/- 1.8 to 49.8 +/- 1.7) in patients treated with atorvastatin. By contrast, during the same period of observation, creatinine clearance decreased from 50 +/- 1.9 to 44.2 +/- 1.6 mL/min (P < 0.01) in patients who did not receive atorvastatin.

Conclusions: This study has shown that treatment with atorvastatin in addition to a regimen with ACE inhibitors or ARBs may reduce proteinuria and the rate of progression of kidney disease in patients with chronic kidney disease, proteinuria, and hypercholesterolemia. The benefits appear to occur in addition to those of treatment with ACE inhibitor and ARBs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Atorvastatin
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Kidney Diseases / blood*
  • Kidney Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / drug effects
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proteinuria / drug therapy*
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Pyrroles
  • Atorvastatin