Methods: Medline, Excerpta Medical Database and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched with English language restriction for RCTs comparing the effect of uric acid-lowering therapy with placebo/no treatment on renal outcomes. Treatment effects were summarized using random-effects meta-analysis.
Results: Eight trials (476 participants) evaluating allopurinol treatment were eligible for inclusion. There was substantial heterogeneity in baseline kidney function, cause of CKD and duration of follow-up across these studies. In five trials, there was no significant difference in change in glomerular filtration rate from baseline between the allopurinol and control arms [mean difference (MD) 3.1 mL/min/1.73 m2, 95% confidence intervals (CI) −0.9, 7.1; heterogeneity χ2 = 1.9, I2 = 0%, P = 0.75]. In three trials, allopurinol treatment abrogated increases in serum creatinine from baseline (MD −0.4 mg/dL, 95% CI −0.8, −0.0 mg/dL; heterogeneity χ2 = 3, I2 = 34%, P = 0.22). Allopurinol had no effect on proteinuria and blood pressure. Data for effects of allopurinol therapy on progression to end-stage kidney disease and death were scant. Allopurinol had uncertain effects on the risks of adverse events.
Conclusions: Uric acid-lowering therapy with allopurinol may retard the progression of CKD. However, adequately powered randomized trials are required to evaluate the benefits and risks of uric acid-lowering therapy in CKD.