Nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid antagonists in diabetic kidney disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Current data highlight the pathological aspects of excess aldosterone in promoting glomerular hypertrophy, glomerulosclerosis, and proteinuria in diabetic kidney disease (DKD). The role of nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs) in DKD is being evaluated in ongoing clinical trials.

Recent findings

Recent studies demonstrate beneficial effects of adding MRAs to the treatment regimen of patients with type 2 diabetes with nephropathy. The MRAs spironolactone and eplerenone can protect against organ damage caused by elevated levels of serum aldosterone in patients with heart failure and DKD but are limited by their side effects, for example, hyperkalemia. Finerenone is more selective for the mineralocorticoid receptor than spironolactone and has greater affinity for the mineralocorticoid receptor than eplerenone. It reduces the concentration of aldosterone without causing significant elevation in serum potassium.

Summary

MRAs have a clear role in reducing albuminuria when used with other renin–angiotensin system blockers in DKD; however, hyperkalemia limits their use. This article provides an overview of clinical studies with a novel MRA, finerenone, and several nonsteroidal MRAs being studied for treatment in DKD.

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