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Tolvaptan in the treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease: patient selection and special considerations

Authors Sans-Atxer L, Joly D

Received 20 July 2017

Accepted for publication 11 November 2017

Published 31 January 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 41—51

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJNRD.S125942

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pravin Singhal


Laia Sans-Atxer,1 Dominique Joly2

1Department of Nephrology, Hospital del Mar, Institut Mar for Medical Research, Barcelona, Spain; 2Faculty of Medicine, Université Paris-Descartes, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Service de Néphrologie, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France


Abstract: Standard of care therapies for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) may limit morbidity and mortality due to disease-related complications, but they do not delay disease progression. Tolvaptan, a selective vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist, delays the increase in kidney volume (a surrogate marker for disease progression), slows the decline in renal function, and reduces pain in ADPKD patients with relatively preserved renal function. The most common adverse events of tolvaptan are linked to its aquaretic effect, and rare cases of idiosyncratic hepatitis were observed. Additional ongoing studies will determine whether the benefits are sustained over time, whether they can be observed in patients with advanced kidney disease, and whether they can be translated in terms of quality of life and cost/effectiveness parameters. Tolvaptan is currently approved in Europe and several countries throughout the world. In real-life conditions, selection of patients that would be good theoretical candidates to tolvaptan is a key but complex question. Eligibility criteria slightly differ from one country to another, and several models (based on conventional data, genetics, renal volume) were recently proposed to identify patients with evidence or risk of rapid disease progression. Eligible patients will ultimately make the decision to start tolvaptan, after complete information, consideration, and balancing of benefits, adverse events, and risks.

Keywords: autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, ADPKD treatment, tolvaptan

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