The cardio-renal syndromes (CRS) are the result of complex bidirectional organ cross-talk between the heart and kidney, with tremendous overlap of diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart failure (HF), and renal dysfunction in the same patient. Volume overload plays an important role in the pathophysiology of CRS. The appropriate treatment of overhydration, particularly in HF and in chronic kidney disease, has been associated with improved outcomes and blood pressure control. Clinical examination alone is often insufficient for accurate assessment of volume status because significant volume overload can exist even in the absence of peripheral or pulmonary edema on physical examination or radiography. Bioelectrical impedance techniques increasingly are being used in the management of patients with HF and those on chronic dialysis. These methods provide more objective estimates of volume status in such patients. Used in conjunction with standard clinical assessment and biomarkers such as the natriuretic peptides, bioimpedance analysis may be useful in guiding pharmacologic and ultrafiltration therapies and subsequently restoring such patients to a euvolemic or optivolemic state. In this article, we review the use of these techniques in CRS.
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