Preventing Early Renal Function Loss in Diabetes (PERL)

PERL stands for Preventing Early Renal Function Loss in Diabetes. The PERL study is a three-year multi-center study aiming to determine whether allopurinol can reduce loss of renal function in people with type 1 diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes remain at risk for end-stage renal disease despite improvements in blood pressure and blood glucose control. Allopurinol is a medication that has been on the market for almost 50 years, has an excellent safety profile, and is used to prevent gout in patients with elevated uric acid levels. There is evidence suggesting that allopurinol might also be useful in people with diabetes who have normal or moderately impaired kidney function to decrease the risk of developing advanced kidney disease in the future.

Eligibility to participate

You may be eligible to participate in the PERL study if you:

  • Are between the ages of 18 – 70 years
  • Have type 1 diabetes for at least 8 years
  • Are concerned you may have or may develop kidney problems related to diabetes

This study does not accept healthy participants.
This study is currently following participants.

What is involved in the Study?

  • Participants will be randomly selected to take allopurinol or a placebo (inactive pill) for three years.
  • During this time, participants will periodically have follow up visits at the University of Minnesota.
  • Kidney function will be measured at the beginning and at the end of the treatment period

Ancillary Studies

  • Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)
    • The purpose of this study is to assess the role of glycemic variability (daily changes in the level of blood glucose) in the progression of kidney disease caused by diabetes in individuals who have mild to moderate kidney disease.
  • Kidney Biopsy
    • The purpose of this study is to obtain kidney tissue which, in combination with the data obtained in the main PERL study, will be studied to identify new ways to predict who will develop more serious diabetic kidney disease and identify potential targets for new therapies.
  • Measuring GFR using Filter Paper
    • The purpose of this study is to learn more about measuring kidney function with iohexol clearance using a drop of blood from the finger (a finger stick). This less burdensome method to reliably measure iohexol clearance has the potential to significantly enhance how research in diabetic kidney disease, other forms of kidney disease, and eventually clinical care is provided.