Background: Hyperuricemia may contribute to renal injury. We do not know whether use of treatments that lower urate reduce the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to assess the benefits and risks of treatments that lower urate in patients with stages 3-5 CKD.
Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, Web of Science and trial registers for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) without language restriction. Two authors independently screened articles, assessed risk of bias and extracted data. Data obtained included serum uric acid, serum creatinine or other estimates of glomerular filtration rate, incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, proteinuria, cardiovascular disease and adverse events.
Results: From the 5497 citations screened, 19 RCTs enrolling 992 participants met our inclusion criteria. Given significant heterogeneity in duration of follow-up and study comparators, only trials greater than 3 months comparing allopurinol and inactive control were meta-analyzed using random effects models. Pooled estimate for eGFR was in favour of allopurinol with a mean difference (MD) of 3.2 ml/min/1.73 m(2), 95% CI 0.16-6.2 ml/min/1.73 m(2), p = 0.039 and this was consistent with results for serum creatinine. Statistically significant reductions in serum uric acid, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were found, favouring allopurinol. There were insufficient data on adverse events, incidence of ESRD and cardiovascular disease for analysis.
Conclusions: Adequately powered RCTs are needed to establish whether treatments that lower urate have beneficial renal and cardiovascular effects.