The past two decades have witnessed a striking paradigm shift with respect to our understanding of the widespread effects of aldosterone. There is substantive evidence that mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation promotes myriad off target effects on the heart, the vasculature, and importantly the kidney. In the present review, we summarize the expanding role of MR activation in promoting both vascular and renal injury. We review the recent clinical studies that investigated the efficacy of MR antagonism (MRA) in reducing proteinuria and attenuating progressive renal disease. We also review in-depth both the utility and safety of MRA in the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patient undergoing dialysis. Because the feasibility of add-on MRA is critically dependent on our ability to minimize or avoid hyperkalemia, and because controversy centers on the incidence of hyperkalemia, we critically review the risk of hyperkalemia with add-on MRA. Our present analysis suggests that hyperkalemia supervening in MRA-treated patients is overstated. Furthermore, recent studies demonstrating the efficacy of new non-absorbed, orally administered, potassium [K+]-binding polymers suggest that a multi-pronged approach encompassing adequate surveillance, moderate or low-dose MRA, and K-binding polymers may adequately control serum K in both chronic kidney disease and ESRD patients.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Clinical hypertension
- Progression of chronic renal failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas