The present study assessed the extent to which remission of nephrotic-range proteinuria occurred in patients with Type I diabetes enrolled in the Captopril Study, a placebo controlled multicenter clinical trial of captopril therapy in diabetic nephropathy. Of the 409 patients recruited into the Captopril Study, 108 had nephrotic-range proteinuria (> 3.5 g/24 hr) at entry in the Study (baseline). This group was the subject of the present study. Remission of nephrotic-range proteinuria was defined as follows: (1) Onset of the remission was taken as the date when proteinuria was first noted to be < or = 1.0 g/24 hr. (2) The reduction in proteinuria had to be sustained for a minimum of six months and until the end of the Captopril Study. (3) During the remission, the average of all 24 hour proteinuria measurements could not exceed 1.5 g. (4) Decline in renal function could not explain the reduced proteinuria. That is, the patient's serum creatinine during the entire period of observation in the Captopril Study had to remain at less than a doubling of the baseline serum creatinine. Remission of nephrotic-range proteinuria occurred in 7 of 42 patients assigned to captopril (16.7%, mean follow-up 3.4 +/- 0.8 years) and in 1 of 66 patients assigned to placebo (1.5%, mean follow-up 2.3 +/- 1.1 years; P = 0.005, comparing remission rate in captopril vs. placebo-treated patients).
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