The progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) cannot be completely inhibited. We first explored factors contributing to CKD progression in patients with CKD in a prospective observational study. In the next phase, we focused on the effects of aldosterone, conducting a single-blinded placebo-controlled study using the selective mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA), eplerenone (25 mg/day). We recruited patients with CKD stage 2 and 3 whose plasma aldosterone concentration was above 15 ng/dL based on the prior data of a prospective observational study. In the CKD cohort study (n = 141), baseline plasma aldosterone concentration was identified as an independent contributory factor for the future rate of change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). When the cut-off value for aldosterone was set at 14.5 ng/dL, the decline rate was significantly higher in patients with higher plasma aldosterone concentration (− 1.22 ± 0.39 ml/min/1.73 m2/year vs. 0.39 ± 0.40 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, p = 0.0047). In the final intervention study, in the eplerenone group, eGFR dropped at 6 months after the initiation of the study, and thereafter eGFR was maintained until the end of the study. At 24 months and 36 months, eGFR was significantly higher in the eplerenone group than in the placebo group. In conclusion, MRA can be an effective strategy in preventing CKD progression, especially in patients with high plasma aldosterone.
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