Background: Concerns have recently been raised regarding a potential harmful effect of statins on renal function. This study investigated the effect of fluvastatin treatment on renal function in renal transplant recipients enrolled in the Assessment of Lescol in Renal Transplantation (ALERT) trial.
Methods: ALERT was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of fluvastatin, 40-80 mg daily (n = 1050) or placebo (n = 1052) on cardiac and renal outcomes in renal transplant recipients over a follow-up period of five to six years. The incidence of graft loss, changes in serum creatinine, calculated creatinine clearance and proteinuria, and the incidence of renal adverse events (AEs) were assessed in both treatment groups.
Results: Fluvastatin treatment in ALERT had no significant effect compared with placebo on renal function, assessed by serum creatinine (overall adjusted mean +/- SEM: fluvastatin, 175.4 +/- 2.20 micromol/L; placebo, 172.7 +/- 2.20 micromol/L; p = 0.39), creatinine clearance (fluvastatin, 55.3 +/- 0.30 mL/min; placebo, 55.8 +/- 0.30 mL/min; p = 0.26) or proteinuria (fluvastatin, 0.58 +/- 0.03 g/24 h; placebo, 0.53 +/- 0.03 g/24 h; p = 0.31). There were no significant differences between treatment groups when the 283 patients suffering graft loss were excluded from the analysis. Fluvastatin also had no detrimental effect on creatinine clearance or proteinuria in the subgroup of 340 diabetic patients without graft loss in ALERT. No notable differences in the rate of renal or musculoskeletal AEs were observed between fluvastatin and placebo groups.
Conclusions: Fluvastatin had no detrimental effect on renal function, or the risk of renal AEs, in renal transplant recipients with or without diabetes enrolled in ALERT. Fluvastatin treatment for the prevention of cardiac events may therefore be used without fear of jeopardizing renal function.