Improving prognosis estimation in patients with heart failure and the cardiorenal syndrome

Int J Nephrol. 2011;2011:351672. doi: 10.4061/2011/351672. Epub 2011 May 18.

Abstract

The coexistence of heart failure and renal dysfunction constitutes the "cardiorenal syndrome" which is increasingly recognized as a marker of poor prognosis. Patients with cardiorenal dysfunction constitute a large and heterogeneous group where individuals can have markedly different outcomes and disease courses. Thus, the determination of prognosis in this high risk group of patients may pose challenges for clinicians and for researchers alike. In this paper, we discuss the cardiorenal syndrome as it pertains to the patient with heart failure and considerations for further refining prognosis and outcomes in patients with heart failure and renal dysfunction. Conventional assessments of left ventricular function, renal clearance, and functional status can be complemented with identification of coexistent comorbidities, medication needs, microalbuminuria, anemia, biomarker levels, and pulmonary pressures to derive additional prognostic data that can aid management and provide future research directions for this challenging patient group.