Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common inherited disorder causing kidney disease. Current clinical management of ADPKD focuses primarily on symptom control and reducing associated complications, particularly hypertension. In recent years, improved understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in kidney cyst growth and disease progression has resulted in new pharmaceutical agents to target disease pathogenesis to prevent progressive disease.
We aimed to evaluate the effects of interventions for preventing ADPKD progression on kidney function, kidney endpoints, kidney structure, patient-centred endpoints (such as cardiovascular events, sudden death, all-cause mortality, hospitalisations, BP control, quality of life, and kidney pain), as well as the general and specific adverse effects related to their use.
We searched the Cochrane Renal Group's Specialised Register to 6 June 2015 using relevant search terms.
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing any interventions for preventing the progression of ADPKD with other interventions or placebo were considered for inclusion without language restriction.
Two authors independently assessed study risks of bias and extracted data. We summarised treatment effects on clinical outcomes, kidney function and structure and adverse events using random effects meta-analysis. We assessed heterogeneity in estimated treatment effects using the Cochran Q test and I(2) statistic. Summary treatment estimates were calculated as a mean difference (MD) or standardised mean difference (SMD) for continuous outcomes and a risk ratio (RR) for dichotomous outcomes together with their 95% confidence intervals.
We included 30 studies (2039 participants) that investigated 11 pharmacological interventions (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, vasopressin receptor 2 (V2R) antagonists, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, somatostatin analogues, antiplatelet agents, eicosapentaenoic acids, statins and vitamin D compounds) in this review.ACEi significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (9 studies, 278 participants: MD -4.96 mm Hg, 95% CI -8.88 to -1.04), but had uncertain effects on kidney volumes (MD -42.50 mL, 95% CI -115.68 to 30.67), GFR (MD -3.41 mL/min/1.73 m(2), 95% CI -15.83 to 9.01), and SCr (MD -0.02 mg/dL, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.09), in data largely restricted to children. ACEi did not show different effects on GFR (MD -8.19 mL/min/1.73 m(2), 95% CI -29.46 to 13.07) and albuminuria (SMD -0.19, 95% CI -1.77 to 1.39) when compared with beta-blockers, or SCr (MD 0.00 mg/dL, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.10) when compared with ARBs.Data for effects of V2R antagonists on kidney function and volumes compared to placebo were limited to narrative information within a single study while these agents increased thirst (1444 participants: RR 2.70, 95% CI 2.24 to 3.24) and dry mouth (1455 participants: RR 1.33, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.76).Compared with no treatment, mTOR inhibitors had uncertain effects on kidney function (2 studies, 115 participants: MD 4.45 mL/min/1.73 m(2), 95% CI -3.20 to 12.11) and kidney volume (MD -0.08 L, 95% CI -0.75 to 0.59) but in three studies (560 participants) caused angioedema (RR 13.39, 95% CI 2.56 to 70.00), oral ulceration (RR 6.77, 95% CI 4.42 to 10.38), infections (RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.25) and diarrhoea (RR 1.70, 95% CI 1.26 to 2.29).Somatostatin analogues (6 studies, 138 participants) slightly improved SCr (MD -0.43 mg/dL, 95% CI -0.86 to -0.01) and total kidney volume (MD -0.62 L, 95% CI -1.22 to -0.01) but had no definite effects on GFR (MD 9.50 mL/min, 95% CI -4.45 to 23.44) and caused diarrhoea (RR 3.72, 95% CI 1.43 to 9.68).Data for calcium channel blockers, eicosapentaenoic acids, statins, vitamin D compounds and antiplatelet agents were sparse and inconclusive.Random sequence generation was adequate in eight studies, and in almost half of the studies, blinding was not present or not specified. Most studies did not adequately report outcomes, which adversely affected our ability to assess this bias. The overall drop-out rate was over 10% in nine studies, and few were conducted using intention-to-treat analyses.
Although several interventions are available for patients with ADPKD, at present there is little or no evidence that treatment improves patient outcomes in this population and is associated with frequent adverse effects. Additional large randomised studies focused on patient-centred outcomes are needed.