Mineralcorticoid receptor blockers in chronic kidney disease

Nefrologia (Engl Ed). May-Jun 2021;41(3):258-275. doi: 10.1016/j.nefro.2020.10.001. Epub 2020 Dec 24.
[Article in English, Spanish]


There are many experimental data supporting the involvement of aldosterone and mineralcorticoid receptor (MR) activation in the genesis and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular damage. Many studies have shown that in diabetic and non-diabetic CKD, blocking the renin- angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) system with conversion enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) decreases proteinuria, progression of CKD and mortality, but there is still a significant residual risk of developing these events. In subjects treated with ACEi or ARBs there may be an aldosterone breakthrough whose prevalence in subjects with CKD can reach 50%. Several studies have shown that in CKD, the aldosterone antagonists (spironolactone, eplerenone) added to ACEi or ARBs, reduce proteinuria, but increase the risk of hyperkalemia. Other studies in subjects treated with dialysis suggest a possible beneficial effect of antialdosteronic drugs on CV events and mortality. Newer potassium binders drugs can prevent / decrease hyperkalemia induced by RAAS blockade, and may reduce the high discontinuation rates or dose reduction of RAAS-blockers. The nonsteroidal MR blockers, with more potency and selectivity than the classic ones, reduce proteinuria and have a lower risk of hyperkalemia. Several clinical trials, currently underway, will determine the effect of classic MR blockers on CV events and mortality in subjects with stage 3b CKD and in dialysis patients, and whether in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and CKD, optimally treated and with high risk of CV and kidney events, the addition of finerenone to their treatment produces cardiorenal benefits. Large randomized trials have shown that sodium glucose type 2 cotransporter inhibitors (SGLT2i) reduce mortality and the development and progression of diabetic and nondiabetic CKD. There are pathophysiological arguments, which raise the possibility that the triple combination ACEi or ARBs, SGLT2i and aldosterone antagonist provide additional renal and cardiovascular protection.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01874431 NCT02540993 NCT02545049.

Keywords: Aldosterona; Aldosterone; Bloqueantes de receptor mineralcorticoide; Chronic kidney disease; Diabetic kidney disease; Enfermedad renal crónica; Finerenona; Finerenone; Mineralcorticoid receptor blockers; Nefropatía diabética.

Publication types

  • Review

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01874431
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02540993
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02545049