A Randomized Trial of Distal Diuretics versus Dietary Sodium Restriction for Hypertension in Chronic Kidney Disease

Dominique M. Bovée, Wesley J. Visser, Igor Middel, Anneke De Mik–van Egmond, Rick Greupink, Rosalinde Masereeuw, Frans G. M. Russel, A. H. Jan Danser, Robert Zietse and Ewout J. Hoorn

Published: 01/01/2020


Background: Distal diuretics are considered less effective than loop diuretics in CKD. However, data to support this perception are limited.

Methods: To investigate whether distal diuretics are noninferior to dietary sodium restriction in reducing BP in patients with CKD stage G3 or G4 and hypertension, we conducted a 6-week, randomized, open-label crossover trial comparing amiloride/hydrochlorothiazide (5 mg/50 mg daily) with dietary sodium restriction (60 mmol per day). Antihypertension medication was discontinued for a 2-week period before randomization. We analyzed effects on BP, kidney function, and fluid balance and related this to renal clearance of diuretics.

Results: A total of 26 patients (with a mean eGFR of 39 ml/min per 1.73 m2) completed both treatments. Dietary sodium restriction reduced sodium excretion from 160 to 64 mmol per day. Diuretics produced a greater reduction in 24-hour systolic BP (SBP; from 138 to 124 mm Hg) compared with sodium restriction (from 134 to 129 mm Hg), as well as a significantly greater effect on extracellular water, eGFR, plasma renin, and aldosterone. Both interventions resulted in a similar decrease in body weight and NT-proBNP. Neither approaches decreased albuminuria significantly, whereas diuretics did significantly reduce urinary angiotensinogen and β2-microglobulin excretion. Although lower eGFR and higher plasma indoxyl sulfate correlated with lower diuretic clearance, the diuretic effects on body weight and BP at lower eGFR were maintained. During diuretic treatment, higher PGE2 excretion correlated with lower free water clearance, and four patients developed mild hyponatremia.

Conclusions: Distal diuretics are noninferior to dietary sodium restriction in reducing BP and extracellular volume in CKD. Diuretic sensitivity in CKD is maintained despite lower diuretic clearance.

Clinical trial registry name and registration number: DD-study: Diet or Diuretics for Salt-sensitivity in Chronic Kidney Disease (DD), NCT02875886.

Full Access Link: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology