PHILADELPHIA – Reducing albuminuria is a key mediator of the way finerenone (Kerendia, Bayer) reduces adverse renal and cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD), based on findings from two novel mediation analyses run on data from more than 12,000 people included in the two finerenone pivotal trials.
Results from these analyses showed that the reduction in urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) linked to finerenone treatment mediated 84% of the kidney protection and 37% of the cardiovascular event protection that finerenone treatment produced in the FIDELIO-DKD and FIGARO-DKD phase 3 trials. FIDELIO-DKD, which had protection against adverse kidney outcomes as its primary endpoint, supplied the data that led to finerenone’s approval in 2021 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating people with type 2 diabetes and CKD.
The findings of the mediation analyses underscore the important role that albuminuria plays in the nephropathy and related comorbidities associated with type 2 diabetes and CKD and highlight the importance of ongoing monitoring of albuminuria to guide treatments aimed at minimizing this pathology, said Rajiv Agarwal, MD, who presented a poster on the mediation analyses at Kidney Week 2023, organized by the American Society of Nephrology.
“Only about half of people with type 2 diabetes get their UACR measured even though every guideline says measure UACR in people with diabetes. Our findings say that UACR is important not just for CKD diagnosis but also to give feedback” on whether management is working, Dr. Agarwal said in an interview.
Incorporate UACR into clinical decision-making
“My hope is that clinicians will look at UACR as something they should incorporate into clinical decision-making. I measure UACR in my patients [with CKD and type 2 diabetes] at every visit; it’s so inexpensive. Albuminuria is not a good sign. If it’s not reduced in a patient by at least 30% [the recommended minimum reduction by the American Diabetes Association for people who start with a UACR of at least 300 mg/g] clinicians should think of what else they could do to lower albuminuria”: Reduce salt intake, improve blood pressure control, make sure the patient is adherent to treatments, and add additional treatments, Dr. Agarwal advised.
Multiple efforts are now underway or will soon start to boost the rate at which at-risk people get their UACR measured, noted Leslie A. Inker, MD, in a separate talk during Kidney Week. These efforts include the National Kidney Foundation’s CKD Learning Collaborative, which aims to improve clinician awareness of CKD and improve routine testing for CKD. Early results during 2023 from this program in Missouri showed a nearly 8–percentage point increase in the screening rate for UACR levels in at-risk people, said Dr. Inker, professor and director of the Kidney and Blood Pressure Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
A second advance was introduction in 2018 of the “kidney profile” lab order by the American College of Clinical Pathology that allows clinicians to order as a single test both an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and a UACR.
Also, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the National Committee for Quality Assurance have both taken steps to encourage UACR ordering. The NCQA established a new Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance measure for U.S. physicians starting in 2023 that will track measurement of UACR and eGFR in people with diabetes. CMS also has made assessment of kidney health a measure of care quality in programs effective in 2023 and 2024, Dr. Inker noted.
Most subjects had elevated UACRs
The study run by Dr. Agarwal and his associates used data from 12,512 of the more than 13,000 people enrolled in either FIDELITY-DKD or FIGARO-DKD who had UACR measurements recorded at baseline, at 4 months into either study, or both. Their median UACR at the time they began on finerenone or placebo was 514 mg/g, with 67% having a UACR of at least 300 mg/g (macroalbuminuria) and 31% having a UACR of 30-299 mg/g (microalbuminuria). By design, virtually all patients in these two trials were on a renin-angiotensin system inhibitor (either an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin-receptor blocker), but given the time period when the two trials enrolled participants (during 2015-2018) only 7% of those enrolled were on a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor and only 7% were on a glucagonlike peptide–1 receptor agonist.
Four months after treatment began, 53% of those randomized to finerenone treatment and 27% of those in the placebo arm had their UACR reduced by at least 30% from baseline, the cutpoint chosen by Dr. Agarwal based on the American Diabetes Association guideline.
Kaplan-Meier analyses showed that the incidence of the primary kidney outcome – kidney failure, a sustained ≥ 57% decrease in eGFR from baseline, or kidney death – showed close correlation with at least a 30% reduction in UACR regardless of whether the patients in this subgroup received finerenone or placebo.
A different correlation was found in those with a less than 30% reduction in their UACR from baseline to 4 months, regardless of whether this happened on finerenone or placebo. People in the two finerenone trials who had a lesser reduction from baseline in their UACR also had a significantly higher rate of adverse kidney outcomes whether they received finerenone or placebo.
84% of finerenone’s kidney benefit linked to lowering of UACR
The causal-mediation analysis run by Dr. Agarwal quantified this observation, showing that 84% of finerenone’s effect on the kidney outcome was mediated by the reduction in UACR.
“It seems like the kidney benefit [from finerenone] travels through the level of albuminuria. This has broad implications for treatment of people with type 2 diabetes and CKD,” he said.
The link with reduction in albuminuria was weaker for the primary cardiovascular disease outcome: CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or hospitalization for heart failure. The strongest effect on this outcome was only seen in Kaplan-Meier analysis in those on finerenone who had at least a 30% reduction in their UACR. Those on placebo and with a similarly robust 4-month reduction in UACR showed a much more modest cardiovascular benefit that resembled those on either finerenone or placebo who had a smaller, less than 30% UACR reduction. The mediation analysis of these data showed that UACR reduction accounted for about 37% of the observed cardiovascular benefit seen during the trials.
“The effect of UACR is much stronger for the kidney outcomes,” summed up Dr. Agarwal. The results suggest that for cardiovascular outcomes finerenone works through factors other than lowering of UACR, but he admitted that no one currently knows what those other factors might be.
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
Source link : https://www.medscape.com/s/viewarticle/998613?src=rss
Publish date : 2023-11-17 18:53:33
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