Tolvaptan in ADPKD patients at the University of Padova Nephrology Unit: impact on quality of life, efficacy and safety


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is responsible of the 10% of the dialysis patients. Tolvaptan is a consolidate option for treatment of ADPKD patients; it slows renal deterioration rate and cysts’ growth, although its acquaretic effects often impact on quality of life (QoL) and treatment adherence. Few studies have documented the tolvaptan long term efficacy and safeness profiles and, mostly, the impact of treatment with tolvaptan on patients’ QoL. Our study aimed to investigate in 13 ADPKD patients of our cohort the differences in terms of QoL before and after the start of treatment via a questionnaire based on SF-36 and PSQI tests, integrated with other original questions. In addition we have also examined the tolvaptan long term efficacy and safeness profiles.

The results of our study show that tolvaptan does not significantly reduce patients QoL notwithstanding its expected acquaretic effects, the only reported side effects. Finally, the average annual renal deterioration rate was lower in patients treated with tolvaptan than in the others.

Relevant limits of our study are the small number of selected patients and the relative short study duration. However, on one hand, the results of our study provide further information to the few data available in literature; on the other hand, they may serve as a useful working hypothesis for further studies with a larger number of patients enrolled and an extended study duration. They would demonstrate the absence of significant impact of tolvaptan on patients’ QoL.

Keywords: ADPKD, tolvaptan, QoL

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La malattia renale policistico autosomica dominante (ADPKD) è la più comune patologia renale ereditaria monogenica, con un’incidenza compresa tra 1:400 e 1:1000.

I pazienti affetti da ADPKD, il cui 70% giunge allo stadio di insufficienza renale terminale ad un’età media di 58 anni, rappresentano circa il 10% della popolazione sottoposta a trattamento sostitutivo renale dialitico [1].

La malattia presenta ereditarietà mendeliana monogenica; nel 10% dei casi è ascrivibile a mutazioni de novo. I principali geni correlati all’insorgenza della malattia sono Polycystic Kidney Disease 1 (PDK1) e 2 (PDK2); l’80% dei pazienti ADPKD presenta una mutazione in PDK1 (cromosoma 16p13.3), il 15% in PDK2 (cromosoma 4q22) e il resto presenta mutazioni in altri loci [2].


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