Current treatment in acute and chronic cardio-renal syndrome.

Department of Experimental and Applied Medicine-Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Spedali Civili Hospital of Brescia, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
Heart Failure Reviews (Impact Factor: 3.99). 12/2010; 16(6):583-94. DOI: 10.1007/s10741-010-9202-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cardio-renal syndrome (CRS) is a renal dysfunction occurring in a large percentage of patients hospitalized with congestive heart failure (HF). Cardiac and renal dysfunctions often occur simultaneously because they share causes and pathogenetic mechanisms. Current therapies for HF are focused on improving myocardial function and hemodynamic balance, but may have potential consequences for worsening renal function. The lack of specific trials in this field highlights the need for further studies aimed to assess efficacy and safety, titration and appropriate dosages of drugs, according to the etiology and severity of both myocardial and renal dysfunction. Moreover, the most recent clinical trials evaluating new drugs on clinical and renal outcome in acute heart failure syndromes (AHFS) failed to demonstrate an improvement in renal function and perfusion. In this context, several questions regarding the priority of drugs, their recommended dosage and potential adverse effects on cardiac and renal outcome need to be addressed. Although clinical guidelines for managing both HF and chronic kidney disease (CKD) have been drawn, until now agreed guidelines about patients with cardio-renal and reno-cardiac syndromes are lacking. Future treatment directions should take into consideration both kidney and heart function. Only this comprehensive approach might lead to an improvement in the management and outcomes of patients affected by CRS.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Heart failure is frequently complicated by renal failure, and this association is a negative prognostic factor. These patients sometimes present oligo-/anuria and resistance to high-dose furosemide, a condition referred to as the cardiorenal syndrome (CRS). Acute or chronic reductions in left ventricular function result in decreased blood flow, with reduction of renal perfusion and activation of several neurohormonal systems, which cause resistance to diuretic therapy. This condition often requires ultrafiltration, which is an effective, but invasive and expensive procedure. Infusions of hypertonic saline solution (HSS) and high-dose furosemide can be an effective alternative. Materials and methods From November 2009 through May 2010, our team treated 20 patients with CRS and resistance to iv boluses of high-dose furosemide. These patients were treated with small-volume (150-250 mL) infusions of HSS (NaCl 1.57 – 4.5%, depending on serum Na values) and high-dose furosemide twice a day. The aim of this treatment is to modify renal hemodynamics and the water-saline balance in the kidney by counteracting the extracellular fluid accumulation and eliminating symptoms of congestion. Results In 18 patients (90%), urine output was restored and renal function improved during the first hours of treatment. Clinical improvement was evident from the first day of therapy, and there were no adverse events. Two patients (10%) did not respond to the treatment: one (who had been in critical condition since admission) died; the other required regular sessions of ultrafiltration. Conclusions HSS combined with high-dose furosemide is a safe, effective, low-cost approach to the treatment of CRS that is resistant to diuretic therapy.
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) is a complex disease in which the heart and kidney are simultaneously affected and their deleterious declining functions are reinforced in a feedback cycle, with an accelerated progression. Although the coexistence of kidney and heart failure in the same individual carries an extremely bad prognosis, the exact cause of deterioration and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the initiation and maintenance of the interaction are complex, multifactorial in nature, and poorly understood. Current therapy includes diuretics, natriuretic hormones, aquaretics (arginine vasopressin antagonists), vasodilators, and inotropes. However, large numbers of patients still develop intractable disease. Moreover, the development of resistance to many standard therapies, such as diuretics and inotropes, has led to an increasing movement toward utilization and development of novel therapies. Herbal and traditional natural medicines may complement or provide an alternative to prevent or delay the progression of CRS. This review provides an analysis of the possible mechanisms and the therapeutic potential of phytotherapeutic medicines for the amelioration of the progression of CRS.
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