Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD) has multifactorial etiology and there are lots of grey zone in understanding its complex pathophysiology. There is no silver bullet for optimal care of CKD. Oxidative stress being well understood and considered as an important common progressive factor for CKD of different etiology. Several research studies focused on reducing oxidative stress and have shown diverse outcomes. In this randomized, open-label, three arms, controlled, single center study we evaluated the role of N acetylcysteine which is a direct scavenger of free radical, in combination with taurine and pyridoxamine in retarding the progression of non-diabetic kidney disease.
69 non-dialysis, non-diabetic patients diagnosed with chronic renal failure with GFR more than 15 ml/min/1.73m2 and less than 60ml/min/1.73m2 receiving standard of care were enrolled in the study, of which 22 were in the placebo arm, 23 treated with NT (500 mg Taurine + 150 mg NAC) arm and 24 in the NP (300mg NAC+ 50mg pyridoxamine di-hydrochloride) arm. The subjects in the treatment arm received the study drug twice a day along with low protein (0.6gm protein per Kg body weight) isocaloric diet with 25-30 Kcal/Kg/D and were evaluated monthly up to 6 months. Change in eGFR accorss 3 groups over 6 months were compared.
Mean age of the subjects was 57 ± 13 years of 56.25% were male and 43.75% were female. 69 patients completed the study. The Empirical Distribution Function (EDF) of NP group was dominant over control and NT group indicating a positive effect of NT on non-diabetic CKD at 10% level of significance. In the subgroup analysis a significant effect was observed in the cases of patients receiving NP with baseline eGFR more than 45 ml/min. The mean increase in eGFR readings over six months was 8.15 units higher in the NP group than in the control group. The two-sided p-values of the t-test, the Wilcoxon test and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test were 0.0496, 0.0316 and 0.0354, respectively. Thus, all the three tests reject the hypothesis of identical changes in eGFR at the 5% level. In subjects with bicarbonate more than 22 mg/dl, the mean increase in eGFR over six months was 10.86 units higher in the NP group than in the control group indicating NP has a positive effect on increasing eGFR over 6 months, in patients without the presence of any metabolic acidosis. The two-sided p-vales of the t-test, the Wilcoxon test and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test were 0.0325, 0.0205 and 0.1495, respectively. Thus, two of the three tests reject the hypothesis of identical changes in eGFR at the 5% level which clearly indicates that NP had better efficacy than other groups.
N-acetyl cysteine along with pyridoxine may be a useful intervention along with a low protein diet in retarding progression of CKD in the nondiabetic population in early CKD.

© Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2011.