Hyperuricemia is defined as serum uric acid values greater than 6 mg/dl and could occur either due to hyperproduction or as a result of reduced renal excretion, which exceeds gut compensation. In Italy, prevalence is around 12% of the general population and increases in renal disease up to 60%. Recent experimental studies demonstrated a role of uric acid in the development of arterial hypertension and systemic arteriosclerosis, with an increase in cardiovascular risk. It also appears from observational studies that high uric acid is an independent risk factor associated with de novo onset of chronic kidney disease after adjustment of main confounding variables. Hyperuricemic subjects treated with febuxostat, a selective inhibitor of xantino-oxidase, showed in RCTs a better control of hyperuricaemia in comparison with those receiving allopurinol. Moreover, observational studies indicate that urate lowering treatment could be helpful in reducing cardiovascular events as well as in slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease; randomized controlled studies, designed to assess as primary outcome the nephroprotective effect of urate lowering treatment, are in progress.
KEY WORDS: hyperuricaemia, urate lowering drugs, chronic kidney disease (CKD)