In a nutshell
This study looked at the effect of imatinib (Gleevec) on kidney function in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Researchers found that a reversible decline in kidney function was linked with long-term imatinib use in these patients.
Imatinib is a strong drug used to treat CML. The kidney produces a hormone that helps to make red blood cells. Reduced kidney function may lead to anemia. Anemia is when the blood has a reduced ability to carry oxygen around the body. This leads to tiredness and illness. It is important to research how imatinib affects kidney function.
Methods & findings
82 patients with CML who were on imatinib for 5 years were included in the study. Kidney function and hemoglobin (protein in blood that carries oxygen) had been measured in all patients.
Kidney function was significantly reduced over 5 years of imatinib treatment. Hemoglobin levels were also reduced over the 5 years. Older age and lower kidney function before starting imatinib were linked with developing further kidney problems. Stopping imatinib was found to improve kidney function and hemoglobin after 1 year.
The bottom line
The study concluded that imatinib use was linked with reduced kidney function and anemia in patients with CML.
The fine print
This study looked at old data collected for a different study. This may have affected results. The number of patients included was also quite small. Further research is needed.
Talk to your doctor about imatinib use if you are worried about your kidney function.
Published By :
International journal of hematology
Jan 24, 2019