Renal Dysfunction in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: Insights From the RELAX Trial

RAVI B. Patel, RUPAL MEHTA, MARGARET M. REDFIELD, BARRY A. BORLAUG, ADRIAN F. HERNANDEZ, SANJIV J. SHAH, RUTH F. DUBIN

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Abstract

Background: Patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) represent a high-risk phenotype. The Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibition to Improve Clinical Status and Exercise Capacity in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (RELAX) trial enrolled a high proportion of CKD participants, allowing investigation into differences in HFpEF by CKD status. Methods and Results: Among 212 participants, we investigated the associations of CKD with biomarkers, cardiac structure, and exercise capacity, and identified predictors of change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) over trial follow-up. CKD participants (eGFR ≤60 mL/min/1.73m2) were older, had more comorbidities, and had worse diastolic function. Lower eGFR was associated with higher levels of endothelin-1, N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide, aldosterone, uric acid, and biomarkers of fibrosis (P < .05 for all). Whereas lower eGFR was associated with worse peak oxygen consumption (VO2) after adjustment for demographics, clinical comorbidities, exercise modality, ejection fraction, and chronotropic index (β coefficient per 1 SD decrease in eGFR: −0.61, 95% CI: −1.01, −0.22, P = .002), this association was attenuated after further adjustment for hemoglobin (β coefficient: −0.26, 95% CI: −0.68, 0.16, P = .22). Hemoglobin mediated 35% of the association between eGFR and peak VO2. Sildenafil therapy was independently associated with worsening eGFR over the trial (β coefficient: −2.79, 95% CI: −5.34, −0.24, P = .03). Conclusion: Renal dysfunction in HFpEF is characterized by echocardiographic and biomarker profiles indicative of more advanced disease, and reduced hemoglobin is a strong mediator of the association between renal dysfunction and low exercise capacity. Sildenafil therapy was associated with worsening of renal function in RELAX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

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Keywords

  • biomarkers
  • chronic kidney disease
  • exercise capacity
  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • sildenafil
  • trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Patel, RAVI. B., MEHTA, RUPAL., REDFIELD, MARGARET. M., BORLAUG, BARRY. A., HERNANDEZ, ADRIAN. F., SHAH, SANJIV. J., & DUBIN, RUTH. F. (Accepted/In press). Renal Dysfunction in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: Insights From the RELAX Trial. Journal of Cardiac Failure. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2020.01.003