AIM: The optimal antiproteinuric dose of aliskiren is unknown. This study compared the effect of placebo and increasing doses of aliskiren on urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER). METHODS: The trial was a double-blind crossover design. Twenty-six patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension and albuminuria were randomised to 2-month treatments with placebo or aliskiren 150 mg, 300 mg or 600 mg once daily, in random order. Primary endpoint was change in UAER; secondary endpoints included changes in 24-h BP, GFR, biomarkers and components of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. RESULTS: Placebo geometric mean UAER was 350 mg/day, mean 24-h BP was 137/81 (SD 12/9) mmHg, GFR was 85 (SD 26) ml min(-1) 1.73 m(-2). Aliskiren 150, 300 and 600 mg daily reduced UAER significantly by 36% (95% CI 17-51), 48% (33-60) and 52% (38-63) respectively (p < 0.001) compared with placebo. UAER reduction during the 600 mg dose was not significantly different from the 300 mg dose. Twenty-four-hour systolic BP was reduced by 4.5, 8.0 and 9.2 mmHg versus placebo, significant for 300 and 600 mg (p </= 0.001). Twenty-four-hour diastolic BP was reduced by 3.0, 4.1 and 4.4 mmHg, significant versus placebo (p = 0.019, p = 0.001 and p < 0.001). GFR was reduced by 3.0, 5.1 and 6.5 ml min(-1) 1.73 m(-2). hsPRA was reduced by 63%, 70%, and 82% (p < 0.001 for all). Adverse events, most frequently dizziness and fatigue, occurred during all doses. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension and albuminuria there is no improved antiproteinuric effect when using 600 mg aliskiren daily compared with the maximal recommended antihypertensive dose of 300 mg. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00464776 FUNDING: Novartis Pharma AG.