The Cardiorenal Axis: Myocardial Perfusion, Metabolism, and Innervation

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Current Cardiology Reports


Purpose of the Review: Cardiorenal syndrome (CRS), defined as concomitant heart and kidney disease, has been a focus of attention for nearly a decade. As more patients survive severe acute and chronic heart and kidney diseases, CRS has emerged as an “epidemic” of modern medicine. Significant advances have been made in unraveling the complex mechanisms that underlie CRS based on classification of the condition into five pathophysiologic subtypes. In types 1 and 2, acute or chronic heart disease results in renal dysfunction, while in types 3 and 4, acute or chronic kidney diseases are the inciting factors for heart disease. Type 5 CRS is defined as concomitant heart and kidney dysfunction as part of a systemic condition such as sepsis or autoimmune disease. Recent Findings: There are ongoing efforts to better define subtypes of CRS based on historical information, clinical manifestations, laboratory data (including biomarkers), and imaging characteristics. Systematic evaluation of CRS by advanced cardiac imaging, however, has been limited in scope and mostly focused on type 4 CRS. This is in part related to lack of clinical trials applying advanced cardiac imaging in the acute setting and exclusion of patients with significant renal disease from studies of such techniques in chronic HF. Summary: Advanced cardiac nuclear imaging is well poised for assessment of the pathophysiology of CRS by offering a myriad of molecular probes without the need for nephrotoxic contrast agents. In this review, we examine the current or potential future application of advanced cardiac imaging to evaluation of myocardial perfusion, metabolism, and innervation in patients with CRS.



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