The term cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) increasingly has been used without a consistent or well-accepted definition. To include the vast array of interrelated derangements, and to stress the bidirectional nature of heart-kidney interactions, we present a new classification of the CRS with 5 subtypes that reflect the pathophysiology, the time-frame, and the nature of concomitant cardiac and renal dysfunction. CRS can be generally defined as a pathophysiologic disorder of the heart and kidneys whereby acute or chronic dysfunction of 1 organ may induce acute or chronic dysfunction of the other. Type 1 CRS reflects an abrupt worsening of cardiac function (e.g., acute cardiogenic shock or decompensated congestive heart failure) leading to acute kidney injury. Type 2 CRS comprises chronic abnormalities in cardiac function (e.g., chronic congestive heart failure) causing progressive chronic kidney disease. Type 3 CRS consists of an abrupt worsening of renal function (e.g., acute kidney ischemia or glomerulonephritis) causing acute cardiac dysfunction (e.g., heart failure, arrhythmia, ischemia). Type 4 CRS describes a state of chronic kidney disease (e.g., chronic glomerular disease) contributing to decreased cardiac function, cardiac hypertrophy, and/or increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Type 5 CRS reflects a systemic condition (e.g., sepsis) causing both cardiac and renal dysfunction. Biomarkers can contribute to an early diagnosis of CRS and to a timely therapeutic intervention. The use of this classification can help physicians characterize groups of patients, provides the rationale for specific management strategies, and allows the design of future clinical trials with more accurate selection and stratification of the population under investigation.