Continuation of lithium after a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Wiley, ISSN 0001-690X

Volume 136, 6, 2017

DOI:10.1111/acps.12820, Dimensions: pub.1092302737, PMID: 29049864,



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  2. (2) Aalborg Hospital, grid.27530.33, North Denmark Region
  3. (3) Aalborg University, grid.5117.2, AAU






OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether continued lithium or anticonvulsant treatment after a first diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) was associated with progression to irreversible end-stage kidney disease. METHODS: Nationwide cohort study including all individuals in Denmark in a period from 1995 to 2012 with a diagnosis of CKD and (i) a history of lithium treatment (N = 754, among whom 238 patients had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder) or (ii) a history of anticonvulsant treatment (N = 5.004, among whom 199 patients had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder). End-stage CKD was defined as chronic dialysis or renal transplantation. RESULTS: Continuing lithium (HR = 0.58 (95% CI: 0.37-0.90) and continuing anticonvulsants (HR = 0.53 (95% CI: 0.44-0.64) were associated with decreased rates of end-stage CKD. In the subcohorts of patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, continuing lithium was associated with decreased end-stage CKD (HR = 0.40 (95% CI: 0.17-0.98), whereas continuing anticonvulsants was not (HR = 0.70 (95% CI: 0.21-2.37). There were no interactions of continuing lithium and anticonvulsants. CONCLUSION: After an initial diagnosis of CKD, patients who are selected by their physicians to continue lithium treatment may not necessarily have an increased risk of developing end-stage CKD. Shifting to an anticonvulsant per se may not be associated with an advantage; however, this requires further investigation.


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