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Abstract: The deterioration of renal function, which is linked to chronic heart failure by a chronological and causal relationship (ie, the so-called cardiorenal syndrome [CRS] type 2), has recently become a matter of growing debate. This debate has concerned the efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness of the therapies that have been implemented thus far for this syndrome (for example, the intravenous [IV] loop diuretics, such as repeated IV boluses or slow IV infusions, as well as mechanical fluid removal, particularly by means of isolated ultrafiltration [IUF]).
Further controversies have also emerged concerning the optimal dosage and timing of some evidence-based drugs, such as angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors. The present review summarizes the currently used diagnostic tools for detecting renal damage in CRS type 2. Subsequently, the meaning of worsening renal function is outlined, as well as the sometimes inconsistent therapeutic schemes that have been implemented in order to prevent or counteract worsening renal function. The need to elaborate upon more detailed and comprehensive scientific recommendations for targeted prevention and/or therapy of CRS type 2 is also underlined.
The measures usually adopted (such as the more accurate modulation of loop diuretic dose, combined with the exploitation of other diuretics that are able to achieve a sequential blockade of the nephron, as well as the use of IV administration for loop diuretics) are briefly presented.
The concept of diuretic resistance is illustrated, along with the paramount operational principles of IUF in diuretic-resistant patients. Some controversies regarding the comparison of IUF with stepped diuretic therapy in patients with CRS type 2 are also addressed.
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