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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 Dec;27 Suppl 4:iv53-7. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs529.

The impact of bariatric surgery on renal and cardiac functions in morbidly obese patients.

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Servicio de cardiología, Instituto cardiovascular, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain.



Cardiac adaptation to obesity includes both structural and functional alterations in the heart. The kidneys also suffer the consequence of excessive increase of body weight. This study aims to assess the functional, cardiac and renal changes in a cohort of morbidly obese patients, as well as changes after bariatric surgery-the last therapeutic option for these patients.


Patients referred for bariatric surgery were prospectively included. In each case, transthoracic echocardiography and a blood test were performed before the procedure and repeated 1 year after surgery. The estimation of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was addressed by the Cockroft-Gault lean body weight formula.


Sixty-one patients completed the 1-year follow-up. Of these, 81.9% were female. The mean age was 41.1 ± 9.8 years and the mean body mass index was 47.4 ± 5 kg/m(2), decreasing to 30.5 ± 5.07 kg/m(2) after the procedure. Before surgery, the estimated GFR was 92.7 ± 25.4 mL/min, with hyperfiltration being present in 14.8% of patients, whereas an impaired GFR was detected in 8.3%. Patients showed preserved systolic function and cardiac remodelling. Diastolic function was abnormal in 27.9% of patients. At the 1-year follow-up, favourable changes in the left ventricular geometry and related haemodynamic status were observed. There was no significant change in the estimated GFR in the overall group, although hyperfiltration was ameliorated in 9.8% and a poor GFR was improved in 3.3.%. The improvement was not associated with changes in either blood pressure or the BMI. However, in this group of patients the amelioration of the GFR was associated with an increased stroke volume and improvement in diastolic function.


In morbidly obese patients, GFR is usually normal and only a small percentage of them show hyperfiltration or a reduced GFR. Bariatric surgery has a favourable impact on renal function in only a reduced group of patients who also experience an improvement in cardiac performance.

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