Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1159/000513777


INTRODUCTION: Alport syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects as many as 60,000 persons in the USA and a total of 103,000 persons (10,000) in the European Union [1, 2]. It is the second most common inherited cause of kidney failure and is characterized by progressive loss of kidney function that often leads to end-stage kidney disease. Currently, there are no approved disease-specific agents for therapeutic use. We designed a phase 3 study (CARDINAL; NCT03019185) to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of bardoxolone methyl in patients with Alport syndrome.

METHODS: The CARDINAL phase 3 study is an international, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized registrational trial. Eligible patients were of ages 12-70 years with confirmed genetic or histologic diagnosis of Alport syndrome, eGFR 30-90 mL/min/1.73 m2, and urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (UACR) ≤3,500 mg/g. Patients with B-type natriuretic peptide values >200 pg/mL at baseline or with significant cardiovascular histories were excluded. Patients were randomized 1:1 to bardoxolone methyl or placebo, with stratification by baseline UACR.

RESULTS: A total of 371 patients were screened, and 157 patients were randomly assigned to receive bardoxolone methyl (n = 77) or placebo (n = 80). The average age at screening was 39.2 years, and 23 (15%) werepopulation, 146 (93%) had confirmed genetic diagnosis of Alport syndrome, and 62% of patients had X-linked mode of inheritance. Mean baseline eGFR was 62.7 mL/min/1.73 m2, and the geometric mean UACR was 141.0 mg/g. The average annual rate of eGFR decline prior to enrollment in the study was -4.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 despite 78% of the patient population receiving ACE inhibitor (ACEi) or ARB therapy.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: CARDINAL is one of the largest interventional, randomized controlled trials in Alport syndrome conducted to date. Despite the use of ACEi or ARB, patients were experiencing significant loss of kidney function prior to study entry.

Journal Title

American journal of nephrology





First Page


Last Page



Alport syndrome; Chronic kidney disease; Inflammation


This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission.

Publisher's Link:

Included in

Nephrology Commons