Background: Hyperlipidemia is a risk factor for long-term renal transplant dysfunction, but no prospective clinical trials have investigated the effects of statin treatment on graft function in renal transplant recipients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of fluvastatin on long-term renal transplant function and development of chronic allograft nephropathy in the ALERT (Assessment of Lescol in Renal Transplantation) study.
Methods: ALERT was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of fluvastatin, 40 mg and 80 mg daily, in renal transplant recipients. Patients were randomized to receive either fluvastatin (N= 1050) or placebo (N= 1052) and followed for five to six years. Renal end points included graft loss or doubling of serum creatinine or death; glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was also measured during follow-up in a subset of patients (N= 439).
Results: There were 283 patients (13.5%) with graft loss, mainly due to chronic rejection (82%), yielding an annual rate of 2.4%. Fluvastatin treatment significantly lowered mean low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels by 32% (95% CI -33 to -30) compared with placebo, but had no significant effect on the incidence of renal graft loss or doubling of serum creatinine, or decline in GFR throughout follow-up in the whole study population. Neither was any treatment effect by fluvastatin found in any of the subgroups analyzed.
Conclusion: Fluvastatin treatment significantly improves lipid values in renal transplant recipients but has no effect on graft loss or doubling of serum creatinine.