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A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to confirm the reversal of hepatorenal syndrome type 1 with terlipressin: the REVERSE trial design

Authors Boyer, Medicis, Pappas, Potenziano, Jamil K

Received 16 March 2012

Accepted for publication 9 May 2012

Published 16 July 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 39—49


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Thomas D Boyer,1 Joseph J Medicis,2 Stephen Chris Pappas,3 Jim Potenziano,2 Khuramm Jamil2

1Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA; 2Research and Development, Ikaria, Hampton, NJ, USA; 3Orphan Therapeutics, Lebanon, NJ, USA

Background: Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a rare disorder of marked renal dysfunction in patients with cirrhosis, ascites, and portal hypertension. Type 1 HRS is a rapidly progressive acute kidney injury that develops shortly after a precipitating event, followed by a deterioration of function of other organs (eg, heart, brain, liver, adrenal glands). Presently, no approved drug therapies exist for HRS type 1 in the USA, Canada, or Australia. Given the rarity of this condition and the existing unmet medical need for treatment, the US Food and Drug Administration granted orphan drug and fast-track designations for terlipressin. The objective of the REVERSE trial was to determine the efficacy and safety of intravenous terlipressin compared with placebo in the treatment of adults with HRS type 1 who were also receiving intravenous albumin.
Methods: 180 subjects with HRS type 1 were enrolled at 65 investigational sites located in the USA and ten sites in Canada. Patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to treatment with either intravenous terlipressin administered every 6 hours or placebo for up to 14 days. The primary efficacy measure was confirmed HRS reversal, defined as the percentage of patients with two serum creatinine values of ≤1.5 mg/dL at least 48 hours apart, on treatment, and without intervening renal replacement therapy or liver transplantation. Other efficacy measures included change in renal function as reflected in serum creatinine levels, fractional excretion of sodium, recurrence of HRS type 1, transplant-free, dialysis-free, and overall survival.
Discussion: Data from this pivotal study are intended to demonstrate whether terlipressin is effective in reversing HRS type 1, while providing the level of evidence necessary to define the risk–benefit profile of terlipressin.

Keywords: terlipressin, Lucassin, hepatorenal syndrome, REVERSE, renal dysfunction, critical care

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