SGLT2 inhibition requires reconsideration of fundamental paradigms in chronic kidney disease, 'diabetic nephropathy', IgA nephropathy and podocytopathies with FSGS lesions

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2020 Dec 13;gfaa329. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfaa329. Online ahead of print.


In 2020, the Dapagliflozin and Prevention of Adverse Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease (DAPA-CKD) trial first demonstrated that inhibition of the sodium-glucose transporter-2 (SGLT2) with dapagliflozin attenuates the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) with proteinuria in patients with or without diabetes at an unprecedented effect size. These results have far-reaching implications for a series of traditional concepts in Nephrology. It now became obvious that CKD with and without diabetes involves a predominant SGLT2-driven pathophysiology compared with the other pathogenic pathways currently under consideration. As SGLT2 inhibition is similarly efficacious in diabetic and non-diabetic CKD with proteinuria, treating CKD rather than 'diabetic nephropathy' becomes the central paradigm. Indeed, in older adults with type 2 diabetes, CKD is rather of multifactorial origin. As the DAPA-CKD trial included more patients with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) than any of the previous IgAN trials, dual renin-angiotensin/SGLT2 inhibition may become the new standard. The same applies for patients with podocytopathy-related focal segmental glomerulosclerosis lesions. From now on, IgAN and podocytopathy trials without SGLT2 inhibition as background therapy and without glomerular filtration rate decline as primary outcome criterion will be of limited value. These and other potential implications will trigger broad discussions and secondary research activities with conclusions difficult to predict today. However, one is for sure: Nephrology after the DAPA-CKD trial will be not the same as it was before. Finally!

Keywords: IgA nephropathy; chronic kidney disease; dialysis; fibrosis; hyperfiltration.