JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Cardiorenal syndromes: definition and classification

Claudio Ronco
Contributions to Nephrology 2010, 164: 33-8
20427991
To include the vast array of interrelated derangements, and to stress the bidirectional nature of the heart-kidney interactions, the classification of the cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) includes today five subtypes whose etymology reflects the primary and secondary pathology, the time-frame and simultaneous cardiac and renal codysfunction secondary to systemic disease. The CRS can be generally defined as a pathophysiologic disorder of the heart and kidneys, whereby acute or chronic dysfunction in one organ may induce acute or chronic dysfunction in the other organ. Type 1 CRS reflects an abrupt worsening of cardiac function (e.g. acute cardiogenic shock or decompensated congestive heart failure) leading to acute kidney injury. Type 2 CRS describes chronic abnormalities in cardiac function (e.g. chronic congestive heart failure) causing progressive and permanent chronic kidney disease. Type 3 CRS consists in an abrupt worsening of renal function (e.g. acute kidney ischemia or glomerulonephritis) causing acute cardiac disorder (e.g. heart failure, arrhythmia, ischemia). Type 4 CRS describes a state of chronic kidney disease (e.g. chronic glomerular disease) contributing to decreased cardiac function, cardiac hypertrophy and/ or increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Type 5 CRS reflects a systemic condition (e.g. diabetes mellitus, sepsis) causing both cardiac and renal dysfunction. The identification of patients and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying each syndrome subtype will help to understand clinical disorders and to design future clinical trials.

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