SGLT-2 inhibitors and nephroprotection: current evidence and future perspectives

J Hum Hypertens. 2021 Jan;35(1):12-25. doi: 10.1038/s41371-020-00393-4. Epub 2020 Aug 10.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major public health issue and an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Diabetic kidney disease develops in 30-50% of diabetic patients and it is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the Western world. Strict blood pressure control and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blocker use are the cornerstones of CKD treatment; however, their application in everyday clinical practice is not always ideal and in many patients CKD progression still occurs. Accumulated evidence in the past few years clearly suggests that sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors present potent nephroprotective properties. In clinical trials in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, these agents were shown to reduce albuminuria and proteinuria by 30-50% and the incidence of composite hard renal outcomes by 40-50%. Furthermore, their mechanism of action appears rather solid, as they interfere with the major mechanism of proteinuric CKD progression, i.e., glomerular hypertension and hyperfiltration. The present review summarizes the current evidence from human trials on the effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors on nephroprotection and discusses their position in everyday clinical practice.

Trial registration: NCT03036150 NCT03594110.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / drug therapy
  • Albuminuria / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Nephropathies* / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Nephropathies* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors* / therapeutic use


  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors

Associated data