Trial of Amiloride in Type 2 Diabetes with Proteinuria. Academic Article uri icon


  • Renal Na+ retention and extracellular fluid volume expansion are hallmarks of nephrotic syndrome, which occurs even in the absence of activation of hormones that stimulate renal Na+ transporters. Plasmin-dependent activation of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) has been proposed to have a role in renal Na+ retention in the setting of nephrotic syndrome. We hypothesized that the ENaC inhibitor amiloride would be an effective therapeutic agent in inducing a natriuresis and lowering blood pressure in individuals with macroscopic proteinuria.We conducted a pilot double-blind randomized cross-over study comparing the effects of daily administration of either oral amiloride or hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) to patients with type 2 diabetes and macroscopic proteinuria. Safety and efficacy were assessed by monitoring systolic blood pressure (SBP), kidney function, adherence, weight, urinary Na+ excretion and serum electrolytes. Nine subjects were enrolled in the trial.No significant difference in SBP or weight was seen between HCTZ and amiloride (p≥0.15). Amiloride induced differences in serum K+ (p<0.001), with a 0.88±0.30 mmol/L greater acute increase observed. Two subjects developed acute kidney injury and hyperkalemia when treated with amiloride. Four subjects had readily detectable levels of urinary plasminogen plus plasmin (uPl), and five did not. Changes in SBP in response to amiloride did not differ between individuals with vs. those without detectable uPl.In summary, among patients with type 2 diabetes, normal renal function and proteinuria, there were reductions in SBP in groups treated with HCTZ or amiloride. Acute kidney injury and severe hyperkalemia were safety concerns with amiloride.

publication date

  • September 2017