Heart failure in chronic kidney disease: the emerging role of myocardial fibrosis
Gregorio Romero-González 1, Arantxa González 2 3 4, Begoña López 2 3 4, Susana Ravassa 2 3 4, Javier Díez 1 2 3 4 5
Heart failure (HF) is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Decreased glomerular filtration rate is associated with diffuse deposition of fibrotic tissue in the myocardial interstitium [i.e. myocardial interstitial fibrosis (MIF)] and loss of cardiac function.
MIF results from cardiac fibroblast-mediated alterations in the turnover of fibrillary collagen that lead to the excessive synthesis and deposition of collagen fibres. The accumulation of stiff fibrotic tissue alters the mechanical properties of the myocardium, thus contributing to the development of HF.
Accumulating evidence suggests that several mechanisms are operative along the different stages of CKD that may converge to alter fibroblasts and collagen turnover in the heart. Therefore, focusing on MIF might enable the identification of fibrosis-related biomarkers and targets that could potentially lead to a new strategy for the prevention and treatment of HF in patients with CKD.
This article summarizes current knowledge on the mechanisms and detrimental consequences of MIF in CKD and discusses the validity and usefulness of available biomarkers to recognize the clinical-pathological variability of MIF and track its clinical evolution in CKD patients. Finally, the currently available and potential future therapeutic strategies aimed at personalizing prevention and reversal of MIF in CKD patients, especially those with HF, will be also discussed.
Keywords: biomarkers; chronic kidney disease; fibrosis; heart failure.