Introduction: Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are preferably used in hypertensive patients with CKD. Azilsartan is a strong antihypertensive ARB, but its antiproteinuric effects are not well understood. We compared the antiproteinuric effect of azilsartan and candesartan in CKD patients in an open-label, randomized, crossover trial. Methods: A total of 111 patients were treated with 20 mg of azilsartan daily for 2 months as a run-in period. After the run-in period, patients were randomized into 2 arms and received either 20 mg of azilsartan or 8 mg of candesartan daily for 3 months in a crossover trial. The primary outcome was the percent change in urinary protein-to-Cr ratio (UPCR). Results: Ninety-five patients completed the trial. The mean age was 64.3 years. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and UPCR were 41.5 mL/min/1.73 and 1.8 g/gCr, respectively. The baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 131.4 and 71.0 mm Hg, respectively. The mean percent change in the UPCR was -3.8% in the azilsartan group and 30.8% in the candesartan group at the 1st endpoint (p = 0.0004), and 6.1% in the azilsartan group and 25.8% in the candesartan group at the 2nd (final) endpoint (p = 0.029). The incidence of adverse events, including eGFR levels and serum potassium levels, was not significantly different between the groups. Conclusion: A 20 mg azilsartan dose had potent antiproteinuric effects compared with an 8 mg candesartan dose, without an increase in adverse events. Azilsartan may provide renal protection in addition to antihypertensive effects in CKD patients.
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