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Animal models of cardiorenal syndrome: a review

By Mariusz K. Szymanski, Rudolf A. de Boer, Gerjan J. Navis, Wiek H. van Gilst and Hans L. Hillege


The incidence of heart failure and renal failure is increasing and is associated with poor prognosis. Moreover, these conditions do often coexist and this coexistence results in worsened outcome. Various mechanisms have been proposed as an explanation of this interrelation, including changes in hemodynamics, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and/or sympathetic nervous system. However, the exact mechanisms initializing and maintaining this interaction are still unknown. In many experimental studies on cardiac or renal dysfunction, the function of the other organ was either not addressed or the authors failed to show any decline in its function despite histological changes. There are few studies in which the dysfunction of both heart and kidney function has been described. In this review, we discuss animal models of combined cardiorenal dysfunction. We show that translation of the results from animal studies is limited, and there is a need for new and better models of the cardiorenal interaction to improve our understanding of this syndrome. Finally, we propose several requirements that a new animal model should meet to serve as a tool for studies on the cardiorenal syndrome

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