Pirfenidone slows renal function decline in patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Monique E. Cho, David C. Smith, Mary H. Branton, Scott R. Penzak, Jeffrey B. Kopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Pirfenidone is an orally available antifibrotic agent that has shown benefit in animal models of pulmonary and renal fibrosis and in clinical trials of pulmonary fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and hepatic cirrhosis. Our objective was to determine whether pirfenidone slows the loss of renal function in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: An open-label trial was performed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pirfenidone in patients with idiopathic and postadaptive focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. The monthly change in estimated GFR, expressed as ml/min per 1.73 m2, was compared between the baseline period and the treatment period. During both periods, patients received angiotensin antagonist therapy if tolerated. Twenty-one patients were enrolled, and 18 patients completed a median of 13 mo of pirfenidone treatment. Results: The monthly change in GFR improved from a median of -0.61 ml/min per 1.73 m2 (interquartile range -131 to -0.41) during the baseline period to -0.45 ml/min per 1.73 m2 (interquartile range -0.78 to -0.16) with pirfenidone therapy. This change represents a median of 25% improvement in the rate of decline (P < 0.01). Pirfenidone had no effect on BP or proteinuria. Adverse events attributed to therapy included dyspepsia, sedation, and photosensitive dermatitis. Conclusions: It is concluded that pirfenidone is an attractive candidate for placebo-controlled trials in patients with progressive chronic kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-913
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007


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