Sickle Cell Disease | Losartan for Sickle Cell Kidney Disease

Sickle Cell Disease research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Sickle cell nephropathy (SCN) is a progressive complication of sickle cell disease (SCD) that begins in childhood and results in renal (kidney) failure and early mortality in nearly 12% of adults with hemoglobin SS (HbSS). The potential for prevention and reversal of kidney damage in SCD is not known. Albuminuria is a commonly used biomarker of glomerular damage; however the correlations of albuminuria with specific measurements of glomerular function and pathophysiology have not been determined. The investigators hypothesize that in patients with persistent albuminuria despite treatment of SCD with hydroxyurea, losartan will reverse kidney dysfunction in early stage nephropathy and ameliorate progressive kidney dysfunction in more advanced nephropathy. The primary aim is to study the acute and longer-term effects of losartan (study drug) on specific glomerular functions in children and adults with SCD who have persistent albuminuria. Research glomerular function tests will be done at study entry (prior to taking losartan), 1 month, and 1 to 2 years after starting losartan therapy (participants may take losartan for up to 24 months). In addition, participants are seen each month in clinic and assessed by their regular clinical team. The second aim is to assess the correlation of changes in albuminuria after 1 month of losartan with changes in direct measurements of glomerular function at 12-24 months, thus determining if the magnitude of the initial decrease in albuminuria in response to losartan predicts sustained improvements in renal function.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - SCD genotype HbSS or HbS/beta-0-thalassemia - Age greater than or equal to 9 years old - Urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) greater than or equal to 30 mg/gram creatinine on greater than or equal to 2 occasions separated by one month or more - Current treatment with hydroxyurea and a sustained hematologic response for 6 months or more prior to enrollment Exclusion Criteria: - End-stage renal failure (estimated GFR <30 ml/min/1.73 m2) - Known co-existent medical conditions that could affect the kidneys, such as diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive - Chronic therapy (daily use for ≥8 weeks) with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - Females who are pregnant - Pre-existing hyperkalemia (serum potassium > 5.5 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L)) - Current chronic transfusion therapy

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Sickle Cell Disease

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Drug:LosartanAdults and Children >50 kg: Those with systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 100 mm Hg at entry will start with 50 mg of oral losartan once daily. At the week 2 visit, losartan will be increased to 100 mg daily. Those with SBP <100 mm Hg at entry will start with 25 mg of oral losartan once daily. Participants will return after 1 week for titration to 50 mg daily, if tolerated (i.e. SBP not lower than pre-losartan measurement by 10 mm Hg or more), and after 2 weeks to monitor blood pressure. Children <50 kg weight: Treatment will start with 25 mg oral Losartan once daily given as a morning dose. At the 2 week visit, Losartan will be increased to 50 mg daily. The dose will be increased to 100 mg once a body weight of 50 kg is achieved.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

LosartanParticipants taking losartan, in addition to taking hydroxyurea therapy, as prescribed per standard of care

Study Status


Start Date: December 2012

Completed Date: December 2016

Phase: Early Phase 1

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Change in albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR)

Secondary Outcome:

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Marianne Yee, MD

Lead Sponsor: Emory University


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