Aims: Glitazones rank now among the most used hypoglycemic agents in patients with type-2 diabetes. This systematic review focuses on the cardiovascular and renal outcomes in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients treated with these drugs. Data synthesis: Data from randomized clinical trials and a meta-analysis indicate that glitazones (particularly rosiglitazone) may increase the risk of myocardial infarction, heart failure and cardiovascular death in type-2 diabetics. Observational studies looking at survival and cardiovascular outcomes in diabetic patients with kidney failure show controversial results. Studies in experimental models and clinical studies suggest that glitazones may have favorable effects on renal disease progression, because these drugs coherently reduce urinary albumin excretion and proteinuria in diabetic and non-diabetic nephropathies. No clinical trial based on clinical end-points like kidney failure has until now tested the effect of glitazones on the evolution of chronic renal failure in these patients. Conclusions: Whether the use of glitazones has a positive or a negative impact upon major cardiovascular and renal outcomes in diabetic patients remains an open, unanswered question. Specific studies are needed to assess the efficacy and safety of glitazones in a high risk population like type-2 diabetics with chronic kidney disease. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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