Impact of primary kidney disease on the effects of empagliflozin in patients with chronic kidney disease: secondary analyses of the EMPA-KIDNEY trial.

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Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol


washington; spokane; Humans; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Kidney; Renal Insufficiency, Chronic; Benzhydryl Compounds; Renal Insufficiency; Glomerular Filtration Rate; Hypertension; Disease Progression


BACKGROUND: The EMPA-KIDNEY trial showed that empagliflozin reduced the risk of the primary composite outcome of kidney disease progression or cardiovascular death in patients with chronic kidney disease mainly through slowing progression. We aimed to assess how effects of empagliflozin might differ by primary kidney disease across its broad population.

METHODS: EMPA-KIDNEY, a randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial, was conducted at 241 centres in eight countries (Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the UK, and the USA). Patients were eligible if their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was 20 to less than 45 mL/min per 1·73 m

FINDINGS: Between May 15, 2019, and April 16, 2021, 6609 participants were randomly assigned and followed up for a median of 2·0 years (IQR 1·5-2·4). Prespecified subgroupings by primary kidney disease included 2057 (31·1%) participants with diabetic kidney disease, 1669 (25·3%) with glomerular disease, 1445 (21·9%) with hypertensive or renovascular disease, and 1438 (21·8%) with other or unknown causes. Kidney disease progression occurred in 384 (11·6%) of 3304 patients in the empagliflozin group and 504 (15·2%) of 3305 patients in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0·71 [95% CI 0·62-0·81]), with no evidence that the relative effect size varied significantly by primary kidney disease (p

INTERPRETATION: In a broad range of patients with chronic kidney disease at risk of progression, including a wide range of non-diabetic causes of chronic kidney disease, empagliflozin reduced risk of kidney disease progression. Relative effect sizes were broadly similar irrespective of the cause of primary kidney disease, suggesting that SGLT2 inhibitors should be part of a standard of care to minimise risk of kidney failure in chronic kidney disease.

FUNDING: Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, and UK Medical Research Council.

Clinical Institute

Kidney & Diabetes