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scientific articles

Hydroxyurea is associated with lower prevalence of albuminuria in adults with sickle cell disease

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source: Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

year: 2014

authors: Laurin LP, Nachman PH, Desai PC, Ataga KI, Derebail VK


Albuminuria is an early manifestation of sickle cell nephropathy. Prior small case series suggests benefit of hydroxyurea in reducing albuminuria, with a similar trend noted in pediatric studies. We aimed to comprehensively evaluate hydroxyurea use and prevalence of albuminuria in adult sickle cell patients.

We performed a cross-sectional study of 149 adult patients followed between 2000 and 2011 in a comprehensive sickle cell clinic. All patients were assessed for albuminuria either by direct measurement or by urinary chemical strip (dipstick) testing. Urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratios (UACRs) were available for 112 patients. Hydroxyurea exposure was defined as >=3 months of therapy before the assessment of albuminuria. Albuminuria was defined as either UACR >=30 mg/g or >=1+ proteinuria on two separate dipsticks. We constructed a multivariate logistic regression model to assess the association between hydroxyurea and albuminuria.

The prevalence of albuminuria was lower among patients on hydroxyurea (34.7 versus 55.4%; P = 0.01) as was median albumin excretion (17.9 versus 40.5 mg/g; P = 0.04). In multivariate analysis, hydroxyurea was associated with a lower likelihood of albuminuria (odds ratio 0.28, 95% CI: 0.11-0.75, P = 0.01), adjusting for age, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker use, tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity, hypertension and acute chest syndrome.

In our population of sickle cell patients, those using hydroxyurea were less than one-third as likely to exhibit albuminuria. Hydroxyurea use may prevent development of overt nephropathy or the progression of sickle cell disease nephropathy to end-stage renal disease, and its use for this indication merits further investigation.

organization: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; The Ohio State University College of Medicine

DOI: 10.1093/ndt/gft295

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