Effect of spironolactone on vascular stiffness in hemodialysis patients: a randomized crossover trial

  • Michael Eklund Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7706-1758
  • Olof Hellberg Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
  • Hans Furuland Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9001-614X
  • Yang Cao Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3552-9153
  • Kent Wall Department of Clinical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
  • Erik Nilsson Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6968-6934
Keywords: Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, pulse wave velocity, systolic function, diastolic function


Background: The role of spironolactone treatment in hemodialysis patients is debated, but a survival benefit is suggested. Mineralocorticoids and chronic kidney disease have been linked to cardiovascular fibrosis. Therefore, we hypothesized that spironolactone would affect vascular stiffness, cardiac systolic, and diastolic function in hemodialysis patients.

Methods: This was a randomized crossover study in hemodialysis patients supplemented with an echocardiographic case series. All outcomes reported here were secondary in the trial and were assessed without blinding. Block randomization and allocation determined treatment order. Participants received 50 mg spironolactone daily for 12 weeks and untreated observation for another 12 weeks. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured before and after treatment and observation. Doppler-echocardiography was conducted before and after treatment. Systemic arterial compliance indexed to body surface area (SACi), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), the peak early diastolic mitral inflow velocity (E), the peak late diastolic mitral inflow velocity (A), and the peak early diastolic myocardial lengthening velocity (E’) were measured. E/A and E/E’ were then calculated. Statistical analyses were conducted per protocol. A generalized linear mixed model with random participant effects was used for PWV. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for echocardiographic variables.

Results: Thirty participants were recruited, 18 completed follow-up, and 17 were included in PWV-analyses. Spironolactone treatment showed a tendency toward an increase in PWV of 1.34 (95% confidence interval: −0.11 to 2.78) m/s, which was not statistically significant (P = 0.07). There were no significant changes in any of the other variables (LVEF, E/A, E/Eʹ, or SACi).

Conclusions: We found no evidence supporting an effect of 12-week administration of spironolactone 50 mg daily on vascular stiffness, cardiac systolic, or diastolic function in hemodialysis patients.


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How to Cite
Eklund M., Hellberg O., Furuland H., Cao Y., Wall K., & Nilsson E. (2022). Effect of spironolactone on vascular stiffness in hemodialysis patients: a randomized crossover trial. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 127(1). https://doi.org/10.48101/ujms.v127.8594
Original Articles