Is there any robust evidence showing that SGLT2 inhibitor use predisposes to acute kidney injury?

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Journal of nephrology


washington; spokane; pmrc


A novel class of oral glucose lowering drugs, sodium-glucose co-transporter type 2 inhibitors (SGLT2is), has shown additional beneficial effects on body weight, serum uric acid levels, blood pressure, and cardiac and renal function. Conflicting data have been published regarding the potential risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) when using SGLT2is. Aim of this manuscript was to review the current literature on this issue. SGLT2is induce a mild acute decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate, attributed to the effect of proximal tubular natriuresis on tubuloglomerular feedback through increased macula densa sodium delivery, leading to afferent arteriole vasoconstriction and reduced intraglomerular pressure. This functional effect with a subsequent rise in serum creatinine fulfills the creatinine-based criteria for AKI, as defined in clinical practice and trial settings. Other proposed potential mechanisms as to how SGLT2is lead to AKI include osmotic diuresis leading to volume depletion, increased urinary uric acid levels, intratubular oxidative stress, local inflammation and tubular injury. Despite the warning published by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016 about a potential risk of AKI and the report of some clinical cases of AKI after treatment with SGLT2is, large observational real-life retrospective studies, randomized controlled trials and propensity-matched analyses of data from clinical practice unambiguously demonstrate that SGLT2is are safe for the kidney and do not predispose to AKI. In conclusion, while we can probably stop worrying about AKI risk when using SGLT2is, the question whether these agents should be withheld in the presence of clinical situations at high risk for AKI remains unaddressed.

Clinical Institute

Kidney & Diabetes