Tolvaptan May Stop Cyst Growth in ADPKD

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a genetic kidney disorder. The disease is featured by numerous cysts growing in kidneys that can lead to progressive kidney failure. Approximately 50% of people with PKD develop renal failure by age 60 and the disease is responsible for 10% of patients on dialysis worldwide. Moreover, the persistent cyst growth can cause high blood pressure and painful complications. A recent study shows that tolvaptan may stop cyst growth in ADPKD.

In the study, over 1400 patients from 129 centers worldwide were given tolvaptan over a three-year period. The drug is a selective V2 vasopressin receptor antagonist that lessens the effect of the antidiuretic vasopressin hormone and increases urination.

The study showed that patients who received tolvaptan for three years received a good outcome. The drug slowed down the progression of the kidney disease by slowing the cyst growth. The entire kidney volume decreased with fewer complications. However, tolvaptan still brought some adverse effects such as increased urination and thirst as well as increased liver enzymes and blood sodium levels.

The above finding is a breakthrough in treating ADPKD and it will certainly bring extraordinary benefits for people worldwide. However, it is still at experimental period and it will take a very long time to be used in clinic. As its potential risks and benefits have not known clearly yet, the patients with ADPKD should never use tolvaptan without the doctor’s permission.

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