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International Journal of Nephrology
Volume 2011, Article ID 351672, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/351672
Review Article

Improving Prognosis Estimation in Patients with Heart Failure and the Cardiorenal Syndrome

1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 2C4
2Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, University of Toronto, G-106, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5
3University Health Network and Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

Received 22 September 2010; Accepted 17 February 2011

Academic Editor: Mitchell H. Rosner

Copyright © 2011 Husam M. Abdel-Qadir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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.