An evidence-based review on urate-lowering treatments: implications for optimal treatment of chronic hyperuricemia

Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2017 Feb 8;13:23-28. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S115080. eCollection 2017.


Several studies suggest that chronic hyperuricemia, the main precursor of gout, is involved in the pathogenesis of different systemic disorders that affect cardiovascular and renal systems, such as hypertension, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, chronic heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. Recent epidemiological evidence has shown an increasing trend in the prevalence of hyperuricemia and gout in the Western world: a number of population-based studies estimate a prevalence of up to 21% for hyperuricemia and 1%-4% for gout. As such, early detection and careful management of this pathological condition is required, starting from lifestyle changes (mainly based on a diet low in red meat, sugars, and alcoholic beverages, with increased intake of vegetables, water, and vitamin C sources), adding specific drugs to lead serum uric acid (SUA) levels under the target value of 7 mg/dL. In particular, nonselective and selective XO inhibitors (allopurinol, oxypurinol, febuxostat) reduce SUA levels and the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, mainly related to XO overactivity that often causes inflammatory damage to the vascular endothelium. The effect of lowering SUA levels via XO inhibition includes an attenuation of oxidative stress and related endothelial dysfunction that largely contribute to the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the inhibition of XO overactivation seems to be an excellent therapeutic option to limit the harmful effects of excess UA and reactive oxygen species. In conclusion, rapid diagnosis and correct therapy for hyperuricemia may also improve the prevention and/or treatment of serious and multifactorial diseases. The available evidence supports the importance of promoting new experimental clinical trials to confirm the emerging antioxidant role of XO inhibitors, which could effectively contribute to cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease prevention.

Keywords: cardiorenal diseases; hyperuricemia; therapy; xanthine oxidoreductase inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chronic Disease
  • Down-Regulation
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Hyperuricemia / blood
  • Hyperuricemia / diagnosis
  • Hyperuricemia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperuricemia / enzymology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uric Acid / blood*
  • Xanthine Oxidase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Uric Acid
  • Xanthine Oxidase