Purpose of review: The physiologic determinants of each of the components of the basic metabolic profile in patients with heart failure will be explored. Additionally, the review will discuss the prognostic value of alterations in the basic metabolic profile as well as their effects on management.
Recent findings: Abnormalities in the basic metabolic profile have significant correlation with clinical outcomes and can modify treatment in heart failure. Hypochloremia has recently received increased attention for these reasons. Elevated creatinine, increased blood urea nitrogen, hyponatremia, and hypochloremia correlate with worse mortality and diuretic resistance in heart failure. Hypokalemia, even when mild, has proven to be a worse clinical indicator than modest elevations in serum potassium. Hypochloremia is mechanistically linked to hyponatremia and metabolic alkalosis, but recent compelling data suggests that it can provide more discriminating prognostic information. Knowledge of the physiologic basis for each of these alterations informs their management.
Keywords: Heart failure; Hypochloremia; Hypokalemia; Hyponatremia; Metabolic alkalosis; Renal insufficiency.