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Basic Res Cardiol. 2012 Mar;107(2):242. doi: 10.1007/s00395-011-0242-4. Epub 2012 Jan 19.

Increased cardiovascular risk in rats with primary renal dysfunction; mediating role for vascular endothelial function.

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Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Primary chronic kidney disease is associated with high cardiovascular risk. However, the exact mechanisms behind this cardiorenal interaction remain unclear. We investigated the interaction between heart and kidneys in novel animal model for cardiorenal interaction. Normal Wistar rats and Munich Wistar Fromter rats, spontaneously developing renal dysfunction, were subjected to experimental myocardial infarction to induce cardiac dysfunction (CD) and combined cardiorenal dysfunction (CRD), respectively (N = 5-10). Twelve weeks later, cardiac- and renal parameters were evaluated. Cardiac, but not renal dysfunction was exaggerated in CRD. Accelerated cardiac dysfunction in CRD was indicated by decreased cardiac output (CD 109 ± 10 vs. CRD 79 ± 8 ml/min), diastolic dysfunction (E/e') (CD 26 ± 2 vs. CRD 50 ± 5) and left ventricular overload (LVEDP CD 10.8 ± 2.8 vs. CRD 21.6 ± 1.7 mmHg). Congestion in CRD was confirmed by increased lung and atrial weights, as well as exaggerated right ventricular hypertrophy. Absence of accelerated renal dysfunction, measured by increased proteinuria, was supported by absence of additional focal glomerulosclerosis or further decline of renal blood flow in CRD. Only advanced peripheral endothelial dysfunction, as found in CRD, appeared to correlate with both renal and cardiac dysfunction parameters. Thus, proteinuric rats with myocardial infarction showed accelerated cardiac but not renal dysfunction. As parameters mimic the cardiorenal syndrome, these rats may provide a clinically relevant model to study increased cardiovascular risk due to renal dysfunction. Peripheral endothelial dysfunction was the only parameter that correlated with both renal and cardiac dysfunction, which may indicate a mediating role in cardiorenal interaction.

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