Cardiac and kidney benefits of empagliflozin in heart failure across the spectrum of kidney function: Insights from the EMPEROR-Preserved trial

Eur J Heart Fail. 2023 Aug;25(8):1337-1348. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.2857. Epub 2023 May 4.


Aim: In the EMPEROR-Preserved trial, empagliflozin improved clinical outcomes of patients with heart failure (HF) with preserved ejection fraction. In this pre-specified analysis, we aim to study the effect of empagliflozin on cardiovascular and kidney outcomes across the spectrum of kidney function.

Methods and results: Patients were categorized by the presence or absence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) at baseline (CKD defined by an estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 or urine albumin to creatinine ratio >300 mg/g). The primary and key secondary outcomes were (i) a composite of cardiovascular death or first HF hospitalization (primary outcome); (ii) total number of HF hospitalization, (iii) eGFR slope; and a pre-specified exploratory composite kidney outcome including a sustained ≥40% decline in eGFR, chronic dialysis or renal transplant. The median follow-up was 26.2 months. A total of 5988 patients were randomized to empagliflozin or placebo, of whom 3198 (53.5%) had CKD. Irrespective of CKD status, empagliflozin reduced the primary outcome (with CKD: hazard ratio [HR] 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-0.94; without CKD: HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.60-0.95; interaction p = 0.67) and total (first and recurrent) hospitalizations for HF (with CKD: HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.54-0.86; without CKD: HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.66-1.21; interaction p = 0.17). Empagliflozin slowed the slope of eGFR decline by 1.43 (1.01-1.85) ml/min/1.73 m2 /year in patients with CKD and 1.31 (0.88-1.74) ml/min/1.73 m2 /year in patients without CKD (interaction p = 0.70). Empagliflozin did not reduce the pre-specified kidney outcome in patients with or without CKD (with CKD: HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.71-1.34; without CKD: HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.58-1.48; interaction p = 0.86) but slowed progression to macroalbuminuria and reduced the risk of acute kidney injury. The effect of empagliflozin on the primary composite outcome and the key secondary outcomes was consistent across five baseline eGFR categories (all interaction p >0.05). Empagliflozin was well tolerated independent of CKD status.

Conclusions: In EMPEROR-Preserved, empagliflozin had a beneficial effect on the key efficacy outcomes in patients with and without CKD. Overall, the benefit and safety of empagliflozin was consistent across a wide range of kidney function spectrum, down to a baseline eGFR of 20 ml/min/1.73 m2 .

Keywords: Chronic disease; Empagliflozin; Glomerular filtration rate; Heart failure; Renal insufficiency.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure* / complications
  • Heart Failure* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / complications


  • empagliflozin