Although inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system are effective as first-line antihypertensive drugs in hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease, they cannot completely prevent the progression of renal injury. Many animal studies, including our own, and a few human studies suggest that mineralocorticoid receptor blockade could inhibit the ongoing renal damage in chronic kidney disease. Thus, we designed this double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the antialbuminuric effect of a low dose (50 mg day-1) of the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist eplerenone. The study subjects will include 340 hypertensive patients (blood pressure: 130-180/80-100 mm Hg) with albuminuria (urinary albumin/creatinine ratio: 30-600 mg g-1 in the first morning void urine), who are treated with an inhibitor of the renin-angiotensin system. Other classes of antihypertensive drugs may be added as needed to achieve the target blood pressure (<130/80 mm Hg). The primary study end point is the change in the urinary albumin/creatinine ratio after a 1-year study period. This trial is expected to show whether a low dose of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists can exert an antialbuminuric effect in patients with chronic kidney disease.
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