Published on: 3/4/2021
Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a prevalent and costly complication of diabetes with limited therapeutic options, being the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease in most developed regions. Recent big data studies showed that add-on Chinese medicine (CM) led to a reduced risk of end-stage kidney disease and mortality among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes. Astragalus, commonly known as huang-qi, is the most prescribed CM or used dietary herb in China for diabetes and DKD. In vivo and in vitro studies showed that astragalus ameliorated podocyte apoptosis, foot process effacement, mesangial expansion, glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis. Nevertheless, the clinical effect of astragalus remains uncharacterised. This pragmatic clinical trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness of add-on astragalus in patients with type 2 diabetes, stage 2–3 CKD and macroalbuminuria, and to identify related response predictors.